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Goosander ♀ (Mergus merganser)

Goosander ♀ ( Mergus merganser )

Class : Birds (aves)
Order : Goose birds (Anseriformes)
Family : Duck birds (Anatidae)
Subfamily : Anatinae
Tribe : Sea Ducks and Sawyers (Mergini)
Genre : Sawyer
Scientific name
Linnaeus , 1758

The mergansers ( Mergus ) are a bird genus from the family of ducks (Anatidae). They belong to the subfamily of the ducks (Anatinae). A characteristic of the sawmill is the slender beak, sawn at the edges, which is bent like a hook at the tip. It gives the species of this genus an appearance that distinguishes them very clearly from the other ducks. Sawyers mainly feed on fish and, due to their beak shape, are able to grasp and hold them well. The genus contains a total of five species.

Distribution and existence

Two types are found in Central Europe. The midsummer ( Mergus serrator ) is about the size of a mallard, but longer and slimmer. It breeds in northern Eurasia and America. In Central Europe it is more of a coastal bird and rarely found inland. One of the most important winter quarters for this species is in the west of the Wadden coast on the North Sea. Over 10,000 middle saws gather here in late winter. The goosander ( Mergus merganser ) is larger than a mallard and can be easily identified by its strong, hook-shaped beak. Like the middleman, it is a breeding bird in Eurasia and North America. In Central Europe it breeds in the Alps of Switzerland, Bavaria and North Tyrol. It also occurs as a breeding bird in Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg. During the winter months it can be seen in large numbers on the coast.

The other three species are or were breeding birds from Asia, South America and New Zealand. The Aucklandsäger has become extinct in modern times. Its holdings went after the settlement by Maori sharply and he was missing at the time of settlement of New Zealand by Europeans already in most of New Zealand. The change in New Zealand's habitats and the introduction of large mammals such as pigs and cats have caused it to become extinct. It was last seen in 1902. The Darksawer is a very critically endangered species, of which there may only be 250 individuals in South America. So far, no offspring of this species have been successful that have helped to save other, highly endangered ducks from extinction. The scale saw is limited in its distribution to a small area in Asia and also has only very low population figures.


Among the sawyers in a wider sense in to North America occurring Hooded Merganser ( Lophodytes cucullatus ) and the Smew ( Mergellus albellus ) are counted.

supporting documents

Individual evidence

  1. Bezzel, p. 140
  2. Kear, p. 750
  3. Kolbe, p. 317


Web links

Commons : Säger ( Mergus )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files