Mergus are seaducks that primarily feed on fish. Along with the Smew and Hooded Merganser, they are therefore often known as “sawbills” – so named because of the serrated edges to their bills to help them grip their slippery prey.
Most of the merganser species favor riverine habitats, the exception being the Red-breasted Merganser, which is common at sea.
Species and Ranges
- Auckland Islands Merganser, Mergus australis (extinct, c.1902) – Formerly occurred on South Island and Stewart Island in New Zealand
- Common Merganser or Goosander, Mergus merganser – Found in Europe, North Asia and North America.
- Brazilian Merganser, Mergus octosetaceus – Found in Brazil, South America
- Red-breasted Merganser, Mergus serrator – Found across northern North America, Greenland, Europe and Asia.
- Chinese Merganser, Mergus squamatus – Found inttemperate East Asia
Diet / Feeding:
Ducks generally feed on larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails and crabs.