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The red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator), called Småskrake in Skåne, is a diving duck, one of the sawbills. The genus name is a Latin word used by Pliny and other Roman authors to refer to an unspecified waterbird, and serrator is a sawyer from Latin serra, "saw".
The red-breasted merganser was one of the many bird species originally described by Linnaeus in the landmark 1758 10th edition of his Systema Naturae, where it was given the binomial name of Mergus serrator.
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there
Red-breasted merganser range - Click HERE for full size map
By SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy - Made with Natural Earth. Free vector and raster map data @ naturalearthdata.com. Range map fromBirdLife International 2018. Mergus serrator.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22680485A132053220. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22680485A132053220.en. Downloaded on 24 January 2019 as visual indicator of distribution.,
CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76075635
The adult red-breasted merganser is 51–62 cm long with a 70–86 cm wingspan. It has a spiky crest and long thin red bill with serrated edges. The male has a dark head with a green sheen, a white neck with a rusty breast, a black back, and white underparts. Adult females have a rusty head and a greyish body. The juvenile is like the female, but lacks the white collar and has a smaller white wing patch.
From opus at www.birdforum.net
The call of the female is a rasping prrak prrak, while the male gives a feeble hiccup-and-sneeze display call.
Food and feeding
Red-breasted mergansers dive and swim underwater. They mainly eat small fish, but also aquatic insects, crustaceans, and frogs.
Its breeding habitat is freshwater lakes and rivers across northern North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia. It nests in sheltered locations on the ground near water. It is migratory and many northern breeders winter in coastal waters further south.
Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden
By Klaus Rassinger und Gerhard Cammerer, Museum Wiesbaden - Own work,
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38296331
The fastest duck ever recorded was a red-breasted merganser that attained a top airspeed of 100 mph while being pursued by an airplane. This eclipsed the previous speed record held by a canvasback clocked at 72 mph.
The red-breasted merganser is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.