Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus serrator

Red-breasted Mergansers are the dominant Merganser species in the Pribilof Islands. This species is possible virtually throughout the tour season, with the exception of the period from late July through early September. On a typical year, a few individuals will be found along the shoreline during May and June. By mid-September, southbound birds will begin to arrive from their northerly breeding grounds. The only likely confusion species is the Common Merganser, which is less than annual in the Pribilofs. Adult males of both species are unmistakable, but females and young males should be looked at closely. Check for the shaggy double crests, white throats and chins, and dusky flanks of Red-breasted Mergansers to separate them from their larger, light gray flanked, single crested and white chinned Common Merganser relatives. Mergansers are generally seen in flight over the ocean, or resting in sheltered bays such as Webster Bay and English Bay.