Bird Collection: Red-breasted Merganser

This Red-breasted Merganser is part of our Science Department Collection.

Scientific name: Mergus serrator
These diving ducks belong to the sawbill family, so called because of their long, serrated bills, used for catching fish. Their diet of fish such as salmon and trout has brought them into conflict with game fishermen. At home on both fresh- and saltwater, red-breasted mergansers are most commonly seen around the UK's coastline in winter.
They are gregarious, forming flocks of several hundred in the autumn.