Red-breasted Merganser

Red-breasted Mergansers on the Fox River in Waukesha and at the mouth of the Milwaukee River on the Milwaukee Lakefront. Other species present were Greater Scaups and the Common Goldeneyes. The ice was starting to break up well and move around inside the breakwall with temps in the low 50’s, warmest it has been since approximately November 1st 2013. The ducks look gorgeous this time of year! Images were taken on March 10, 2014.

Red-breasted Merganser - Male

Red-breasted Merganser – Male

Red-breasted Merganser

Binomial name: Mergus serrator

Category: Duck, Geese, and Swans

Size: 23” long, 30” wing span

Weight: M 1.56 lbs., F 1.52 lbs.

Habitat:  Lakes and ponds surrounded by woodlands also tundra ponds.

Diet: The Red-breasted Merganser dives for its main diet fish, but also eats, insects, crustaceans and tadpoles.

Nesting:  Nesting sites are depressions in the ground. They can be located under a large rock, within dense shrub, under a pile of driftwood near water. Nests usually contain 5-11 olive colored eggs, they leave the nest in 1 or 2 days.

Cool facts: The breeding region for the Red-breasted Merganser is farther north than any other American merganser.

Red-breasted Merganser - Male

Red-breasted Merganser – Male

Red-breasted Merganser Stretching - Male

Red-breasted Merganser stretching – Male

Red-breasted Merganser Stretching - Male

Red-breasted Merganser stretching – Male

Red-breasted Merganser Shaking Off - Male

Red-breasted Merganser shaking off – Male

Red-breasted Merganser Preening - Male

Red-breasted Merganser preening – Male

Red-breasted Merganser Preening - Male

Red-breasted Merganser preening – Male

Red-breasted Merganser - Male

Red-breasted Merganser – Male

Red-breasted Merganser Preening - Male

Red-breasted Merganser preening – Male

Red-breasted Merganser Preening - Male

Red-breasted Merganser preening – Male

Red-breasted Merganser a pair! - Males

Red-breasted Merganser a pair, relax mode – Males

Red-breasted Merganser stretching in water - Male

Red-breasted Merganser stretching in water – Male

Red-breasted Merganser - female

Red-breasted Merganser – Female

Red-breasted Merganser - Female

Red-breasted Merganser – Female

Lesser Scaup - Male

Greater Scaup – Male

Lesser Scaup - Male

Greater Scaup – Male

Lesser Scaup - Female

Greater Scaup – Female

Lesser Scaup - Female

Greater Scaup – Female

Lesser Scaup stretching - Male

Greater Scaup stretching – Male

Common Goldeneye - Male, 1st winter

Common Goldeneye – Male, 1st winter

Common Goldeneye - Male, 1st winter

Common Goldeneye – Male, 1st winter

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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

One Response to Red-breasted Merganser

  1. Elaine says:

    Wow, if I were a merganser, I’d flip for this guy. Despite the severe winter, every feather gorgeously arranged. With the slender bill and wisp of head feathers, he’s a knock-out. The scaup’s round body sits contentedly – who can miss that sweet smile. With the male caught in a graceful stretch, his feathers resemble the ice caves. These are stunning, Jim – thank you!

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