April Bird of the Month – Red-Breasted Merganser

Ready for take-off!

Red-breasted Merganser: Steve Eric Smith

Our April Bird of the Month is the Red-Breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator).

Like many of ducks, the Red-Breasted Merganser is a winter visitor to Bolsa Chica, and we are happy to have these lively diving ducks visit us here.

These ducks nest and breed the furthest north of all the American Mergansers, well up into the northern reaches of Canada. In the winter, however, they can be found the furthest south, preferring to spend their winters on salt water – making Bolsa Chica a great winter home.  While both males and females have slender bodies with long, slim bills, the breeding males stand out with their ragged green head crest, white neck-band, and cinnamon colored chest. A diving duck, the Red-Breasted Merganser feeds on fish and crustaceans and occasionally hunts in cooperative groups.

(23″ long; 30″ wingspan; 2.3lbs)

To learn more about the Red-Breasted Merganser visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology or Audubon.

Learn more about the Year of the Bird from: AudubonBirdLife InternationalNational GeographicCornell Lab of Ornithology

Watch the birds of Bolsa Chica live on our Eco-Cam!

photo: Steve Eric Smith

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