SCIENTIFIC NAME:Mergus serrator POPULATION: 370,000 TREND: Stable HABITAT: Breeds on wooded lakes and tundra ponds; winters mainly on salt water.
The handsome Red-breasted Merganser is a welcome sight along coastlines during the winter. This sea-going duck is notable for its long, red, serrated bill, which gives it the species name serrator.
One of the Red-breasted Merganser’s notable features is a shaggy-looking double crest, which reminds some of a bad case of “bed head.” The colorful male sports a metallic-green head, white neck band and wing patches, a red bill and eyes, and a reddish, black-speckled breast, for which the bird is named. The female is mostly gray with an orange-brown head.