purplerabbits's picture

Goosander family

Observed: 4th June 2009 By: purplerabbitspurplerabbits’s reputation in Birdspurplerabbits’s reputation in Birdspurplerabbits’s reputation in Birds
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Mum and five ducklings swimming hard upstream

Species interactions

No interactions present.


colhig17's picture


White front and less spiky crest confirms female Goosander rather than Red-Breasted Merganser. One of the sawbills, feeding on fish and occasionally small mammals. The youngsters mainly feed on insects.


"Wildlife is for Everyone"

the naturalist man's picture


The chicks with this female are not necessarily all hers. Goosanders are one of the bird species which forms creches where one female will look after both their own and other goosander's chicks.

This is not done out of the goodness of its heart, it is not altruism. It is done because there is safety in numbers - the more chicks there are in a group the less chance the one taken by a predator is not yours.

Graham Banwell

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Andrew Goodall's picture


On ID there is a clear cut off on the neck between white and dark. The Merganser seems to blend in (diffuse border). It is a good way to remember which is which if you think Groomed=G for Goosander and Mucky=M for Merganser.



purplerabbits's picture

Thanks for your comments.

Thanks for your comments. I've never seen a red breasted merganser this side of Scotland, though I've see them in Arran and Cumbrae often enough...

Alison Rowan