Saturday, June 27, 2009
A large diving duck with a long thin bill, the Common Merganser is found along large lakes and rivers across the northern hemisphere.
Mergansers are sometimes referred to sawbills because of their long, serrated bills. These narrow bills, hooked at the tip and set with numerous horny denticulations, are adapted for catching fish, a merganser’s primary source of food. Mergansers primarily feed on small or medium-sized fishes which they capture underwater by swift pursuit. These divers also supplement their diet with frogs and aquatic insects.
They build their nests of leaves, grasses and moss lined with their own down in tree hollows, cliffs, both available in abundance on Mackinac. Six to sixteen ivory-white eggs are laid, which hatch after about one month of incubation. The ducklings are led to water and closely supervised by mama duck. Favored resting spots are rocks exposed above the water of the lake, where the ducklings are save from from turtles.