Smew

Mergellus albellus

This stunning old-world merganser is casual in the Pribilof Islands. There are likely close to 10 Pribilof records, all from spring. Elsewhere in Alaska there are numerous winter and a few summer records, so one should keep the possibility of this species in mind throughout the season. Over the last decade, Smew have been found four times, from May 6 to June 7. Males of this species are unmistakable, dressed in immaculate white and gray body, intersected with thin black lines, and a black facemask. Females are brown headed, and white throated, with a dusky gray body. Look for this species in any of our freshwater lakes with sticklebacks, especially Big Lake, Polovina Lake, Sheep Lake, Antone Lake and Weather Bureau Lake.