French: Grand Harle German: Gänsesäger Spanish: Serreta grande
Other common names:
Subspecies and Distribution
M. m. merganser
Linnaeus, 1758 – Palearctic: breeds from Iceland E to Kamchatka, S to C Europe, NE China and N Japan; winters on Atlantic coasts and from C Europe E to Iran, also in Korea, Japan and China.
M. m. orientalis
Gould, 1845 – breeds in C Asia from NE Afghanistan E through Tibet and Himalayas to W China; in winter S to Indus Valley and Himalayan foothills to SE China.
M. m. americanus
Cassin, 1852 – North America: breeds from Alaska E to Newfoundland, S to N California, SW New Mexico and N Pennsylvania; in winter expands farther S to SW USA and N Mexico.
58–72 cm; male 1300–2100 g, female 900–1700 g; wingspan 78–102 cm. Large sawbill, with obviously larger body and head than broadly sympatric M.... read more
In display, male produces guitar-like note (e.g. a twanging “uig-a”) while simultaneously... read more
Breeds on clear, freshwater lakes, pools and in upper reaches of rivers, generally in vicinity of... read more
Food and feeding
Mainly fish, generally < 100 mm in length; also aquatic invertebrates (molluscs, crustaceans, worms, insects and larvae), amphibians,... read more
Starts Mar–May, with earliest eggs in C & W Europe laid late Mar to mid Apr but generally from mid May in Scandinavia and Russia... read more
Partially migratory, with moulting and breeding areas generally vacated in late Aug/early Sept in... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). North American winter population estimated at c. 640,000 birds in mid 1970s, while 110,000–160,000 estimated to winter in W... read more
Only subscribers are able to see the bibliography. Login or Subscribe to get access to a lot of extra features!