• A greyish bird, with brown head and relatively long, pointy beak.
  • Size comparable to mallard.
  • Spotted in central Poland, on small, artificial pond, populated by mallards and Eurasian coots.
  • Photo has been taken today (late September).

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I'd be grateful for any information that could be used to identify this bird.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It is a goosander $\endgroup$
    – Amit Rana
    Sep 30, 2017 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


Based on the location and picture I believe this a Goosander (Mergus merganser) which is the European name, the North American name is the Common Merganser.

You can find more information about them here.

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They undergo two main molts, breeding plumage in December and eclipse plumage in May. Here is a description of the eclipse molt by Bent, 1923:

In May the adult male goosander begins to assume its eclipse plumage. The adult male in August has the crown reddish brown, with a gray tinge; chin white, and the rest of the head and upper neck rich red brown.

By the looks of your photo, you either have 2 females during the breeding plumage phase (January - May) or either sex during the eclipse phase (June - December). It will depend on when the photo was taken.

Here is an image with a breeding plumage male (left) alongside some females:

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Bent, Arthur Cleveland. 1923. Smithsonian Institution United States National Museum Bulletin 126 (Part 1): 1-13. United States Government Printing Office
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much for the answer. It looks like a good match, and I've already heard about goosanders in the area - just haven't seen one. This year somone introduced fish, to keep the pond clean - I guess it become a nice dinner plate. $\endgroup$
    – user36912
    Sep 29, 2017 at 20:22

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