Red-breasted Merganser
Mergus serrator
Fish and Wildlife Service
Field Marks
  • Long, thin, orange to red-orange bill.
  • Shaggy crest on back of head.
  • White patches in wing visible in flight.
  • Male with gray sides, dark reddish chest, white neck, and iridescent green head.


A large diving duck with a long thin bill, the Red-breasted Merganser is found in large lakes, rivers and the ocean. It prefers salt water more than the other two species of merganser.


Uncommon winter resident in the Atlanta metro area, but can be seen in the right habitat.