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Common Merganser

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About the Common Merganser

Also known as: American Merganser, American Sheldrake, Goosander, Sawbill

The Common Merganser is a large species of duck. They have a relatively cosmopolitan distribution, with populations found across North America, Europe, and parts of Asia.

Male Common Mergansers in breeding plumage are easily identified. The head and outer wing feathers are black with a green shimmer. The body is white, while the rump and tail are grey.

Mergansers use their serrated bills to help them grip their main source of food: fish. This unique feature leads to the nickname "sawbill."

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 26 October 2012
Scientific Name Mergus merganser
  • Anseriformes
  • Anatidae
  • Mergus
  • M. merganser
Birdorable Family Ducks & Geese
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
21.3 to 28 inches
33.9 inches
31.7 to 76.2 ounces
Range East Europe North Europe West Asia Central Asia East Asia North America United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • 普通秋沙鸭 (Chinese)
  • morčák velký (Czech)
  • Stor Skallesluger (Danish)
  • Grote Zaagbek (Dutch)
  • isokoskelo (Finnish)
  • Grand Harle (French)
  • Gänsesäger (German)
  • Smergo maggiore (Italian)
  • カワアイサ (Kawa aisa) (Japanese)
  • Laksand (Norwegian)
  • nurogęś (Polish)
  • Большой крохаль (Russian)
  • Serreta Grande (Spanish)
  • Storskrake (Swedish)