Red-breasted Merganser

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“Mergus serrator. Red-breasted Merganser. Nostrils near base of bill. Frontal feathers extending obtusely on culmen, and not beyond those on sides of upper mandible; the loral sweeping forward convex beyond those on side of lower mandible. A long, thin, pointed and nuchal crest in both sexes. Adult Male: Head and neck all around splendid dark green. A white ring round neck. Under parts white, more or less salmon-tinged, the fore-breast brownish-red streaked with dusky, the sides finely waved with dusky. A white black-bordered patch of broad feathers in front of the wing. Fore-back, interscapulars, and long inner scapulars, black; middle and lower back gray waved with whitish and dusky. Surface of wing mostly white, including outer scapulars; inner secondaries edged on outer web with black, and wing crossed by two black bars at bases and just beyond ends of greater coverts. Bill carmine-red, dusky along the top; eyes carmine; feet bright red. Female: Bill and feet duller color; head grayish-chestnut; throat and under parts white, shaded with ashy-gray along sides. Upper parts plumbeous-gray, the feathers with paler edges; white of wing restricted to a patch formed by the ends of the greater coverts, and much of the outer secondaries; not divided by a black bar.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: M-O


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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