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.
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.