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Common merganser

Mergus merganser

Female common merganser. Photo Aaro Toivio.

General information. The common merganser is a sizable aquatic bird species, arriving to Finland in early spring. It is at that time most commonly seen resting in large flocks around melting sea bays. Males have a black head and a variable, salmon-pink belly while females are brown with a distinguishable crest of head feathers. The common merganser is classified as a near threatened species according to Finland’s threat classification system.

  • Length 58-66 cm
  • Nests in nesting boxes, under a juniper bush, rock, shed or other type of building.
  • Winters in the Baltic Sea and North Sea
  • Feeds on fish and crustacean

Habitat. Thrives along the coastline, in the archipelago, along rivers and barren inland lakes.

Distribution in Vaasa. The common merganser was observed in about 100 locations during 2005-2008. It is common along the coastline and in the archipelago. However, no observations indicating nesting were made inland.