Common Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
- HABITAT - Common Mergansers prefer fresh water in all seasons. They use deep, clear, forested lakes, reservoirs, and rivers for breeding. In winter, they occupy similar habitat, as well as bays and coastal estuaries. They will occasionally frequent salt-water habitats in the winter. A few winter in the Great Lakes.
- DIET - The serrated bills of mergansers are adapted for catching small fish. Common Mergansers eat a wide variety of fish but will also eat mussels, shrimp, salamanders, rarely plant material. Young ducklings eat mostly aquatic insects.
- FACTS - Why do we never see male Common Merganser with their young? This is because the males have no part in raising the ducklings and leave before that hatch. Before the ducklings learn to fly, the mother has already moved on as well. The mother’s will show them the basic ways of hunting and swimming but, these ducklings are instinctively independent. Within 48 hours of hatching, the ducklings leave the nest and by eight-days old, they’re already skilled in aquatic diving.