AskDefine | Define goosander

Dictionary Definition

goosander n : common merganser of Europe and North America [syn: Mergus merganser]

User Contributed Dictionary



goosander (plural goosanders)
  1. A merganser, Mergus merganser, of the northern hemisphere. They eat fish and are common on lakes and rivers.


Extensive Definition

The Common Merganser, (Goosander in Europe), Mergus merganser, is a large sized duck, which is distributed over Europe, North Asia and North America. It is most common on lakes and rivers. Its nests can be found in treeholes.
There are three subspecies
  • M. m. merganser, the Goosander of Europe
  • M. m. orientalis, Central Asian Common Merganser
  • M. m. americanus, American Common Merganser (or simply American Merganser)
Males and females are easily distinguished, since the male merganser has a dark green head, while the head of the female is reddish-brown. The Common Merganser is 70 cm long with a 78-94 cm wingspan.
These large fish-eaters have serrated edges to their bills to help them grip their prey. Along with the Smew and the other Mergansers, they are therefore often known as "sawbills". They also eat mussels and shrimps; young birds mainly eat aquatic insects.
North American birds migrate south in small groups to the United States wherever ice free conditions exist on ponds, lakes and rivers; on the west coast, some birds are permanent residents.
Scandinavian and Russian birds also migrate southwards, but western European birds are largely resident.
The Common Merganser is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
goosander in Bulgarian: Голям нирец
goosander in Czech: Morčák velký
goosander in Welsh: Hwyaden Ddanheddog
goosander in German: Gänsesäger
goosander in Estonian: Jääkoskel
goosander in French: Harle bièvre
goosander in Western Frisian: Grutte Seachbek
goosander in Lithuanian: Didysis dančiasnapis
goosander in Hungarian: Nagy bukó
goosander in Dutch: Grote zaagbek
goosander in Japanese: カワアイサ
goosander in Norwegian: Laksand
goosander in Polish: Tracz nurogęś
goosander in Portuguese: Merganso-grande
goosander in Northern Sami: Gussagoalsi
goosander in Slovak: Potápač veľký
goosander in Finnish: Isokoskelo
goosander in Swedish: Storskrake
goosander in Turkish: Büyük tarakdiş
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