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  • Writer's pictureS Santosh Kumar (sukubirder)

Birds in Northeastern India: Common Merganser

Updated: Mar 27, 2023


(Nikon D500, 200-500mm lens; 1/640, f/6.3, ISO160; hand-held; Jia Bhoroli (Kameng) river, Nameri National Park, 04/03/23)

(Nikon D500, 200-500mm lens; 1/640, f/6.3, ISO140; hand-held; Jia Bhoroli (Kameng) river, Nameri National Park, 04/03/23)


Common Merganser a.k.a. Goosander (Mergus merganser): This was the other target bird (other than the Ibisbill) that we managed to see while rafting down the gentle rapids of the Jia Bhoroli river. The guide pointed to a male Common Merganser flying overhead just after we had observed the Ibisbill. Before I could manoeuvre inside the rocking raft to take a picture, it had flown a fair distance away, behind us. We started wondering whether we would ever see this bird again. But, shortly after, we saw another male with two females resting on a sandbar just down the stream. The male was resplendent in its breeding plumage. Common Merganser is the largest of the saw-billed ducks and is found throughout the northern hemisphere both in the Palearctic as well as the Nearctic realms. It is a specialist fish eater that feeds by diving and uses its keen eyesight to locate its prey underwater and therefore, prefers to feed in clear waters.

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Aug 15, 2023
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