GOOSANDER or COMMON MERGANSER
An abundant species worldwide, and circumpolar in distribution,
three subspecies are involved. A hole nester, which limits its northern distribution to the taiga belt, it will
nest in suitable spots on the ground but prefers high in trees. All three suspecies are distinguishable and there
are records of americanus in Ireland. More distinctive then other populations with regard to the nominate,
a split has been suggested, the centre bird here taken in the USA. The Asian subspecies orientalis is less
distinct, and within it a fourth subspecies has been mooted but support for this seems to have dropped.
Click on the photo to return to "ducks" or here for