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Red-Breasted Merganser

Posted on Feb 9, 2015

With Lake Erie nearly 92% frozen over according to Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System, there is limited open water for wading and diving birds to feed. However, thanks to the Dunkirk power-plant the waters near the harbor are warm enough to keep the ice at bay, enabling birds such as this gorgeous male Red-Breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) to acquire fishy snacks. Out of the three species of mergansers common to the area, I personally think this one is my favorite. I have learned to identify which of the three mergansers is the red-breasted not only recognizing the orangy-red breast, but the crest of feathers on the top of the head, giving it a rock star-like mohawk.

Red Breasted Merganser (1)

Elyse Henshaw
Conservation Technician