Common Merganser

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."

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 26 October 2012
Scientific Name
Mergus merganser
  • Anseriformes
  • Anatidae
  • Mergus
  • M. merganser
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 20 March 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
21.3 to 28 inches
33.9 inches
31.7 to 76.2 ounces


International Names

Chinese (汉语) 普通秋沙鸭
Czech (Cesky) morčák velký
Danish (Dansk) Stor Skallesluger
Dutch (Nederlands) Grote Zaagbek
Finnish (Suomi) isokoskelo
French (Français) Grand Harle
German (Deutsch) Gänsesäger
Italian (Italiano) Smergo maggiore
Japanese (日本語) カワアイサ (Kawa aisa)
Norwegian (Norsk) Laksand
Polish (Polski) nurogęś
Russian (русский язык) Большой крохаль
Spanish (Español) Serreta Grande
Swedish (Svenska) Storskrake
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