THE NATURAL WORLD OF SOUTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND THROUGH THE LENS OF CAPTAIN YVES
Males (right) are decked out with a dark green shaggy head, a red bill and eye, and a rusty chest. Females (left) lack the male’s bright colors but also don the same messy do.
Mergansers need to eat 15 to 20 fish per day, which researchers suggest means they need to dive underwater 250–300 times per day or forage for 4–5 hours to meet their energy needs.
Red-breasted Mergansers breed in the boreal forest on fresh, brackish, and saltwater wetlands, typically close to the coast.
Red-breasted Mergansers are among the fastest flying ducks, clocking speeds of up to 81 miles per hour. To get airborne though, they need a running start. Their legs are positioned near their rear making it difficult to walk on land, but are an asset when diving.