Scaly-sided merganser

Chinese zaagbek

Scaly-sided merganser (Mergus squamatus)

The Scaly-sided merganser (Mergus squamatus) is a large sea duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
Chinese zaagbek
English name:
Scaly-sided merganser or Chinese merganser
German name:
Schuppensäger
French name:
Harle de Chine
Scientific name:
Mergus squamatus

Scientific classification

Order:
Anseriformes
Family:
Anatidae
Onderfamilie:
Merginae
Genus:
Mergus

Description

Description:

Male:
All black head and neck, glossed green, with long wispy crest, drooping to touch mantle. Underparts mostly white or creamy-white, tinged salmon pink; flanks, vent, lower back, rump and uppertail-converts white, with black edgings forming bold scallops. Upperparts mainly black, tending to grey on rump and tail; scapulars with broad white edgings. Upper wing blackish on outer half, with white inner half divided by black bars across tips of greater and median converts, lesser converts white and blackish leading edge; underwing whitish, with grey primaries. Bill dull red, with black nail and dark along culmen. Legs and feet orange.

Female:
Warm brown head and neck. Underparts mainly white, but flanks, vent, lower back, rump and uppertail–converts scalloped, but less prominently, and scallops largly absent on flanks in post–breeding period. Mantle and upper back grey. Upper wing blackish on outer half, with white inner half divided by black bars across tips of greater and median converts, lesser converts white and blackish leading edge; underwing whitish, with grey primaries. Bill dull red, with black nail and dark along culmen. Legs and feet orange.

Juvenile:
Less whitish, more grey –brown, on breast and belly. molts towards adult during late winter. Males well have some adult Breeding plumage on flanks, Head and chest Completing adult plumage by 2nd winter.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Scaly-sided merganser measures approximately 50-58 centimeters. The female measures approximately 50-58 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 1080-1300 gram. The female will weight about 900-980 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!
Note:

Nests are established in tree holes up to 18 metres above the ground, lined with down. Normally one clutch is laid per year, but if the first is destroyed a replacement may be laid. 

Breeding:
The female Scaly-sided merganser usually lays from 10-11 creamy white eggs and incubates them for 32 days.

Artificial incubating:

The ideal relative humidity for incubating most waterfowl eggs is 55% (ground nesters) and 40% (cavity nesters). The temperature is usually 37.4°C. Set ventilation as recommended by the incubator manufacturer. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. As the duckling develops there is a loss of water from the egg and the air sac gets bigger. In normal development of an egg with a 32 days incubation, the air sac occupies about a third of it three days earlier. Cleanliness is vital and ideally eggs should be moved to a separate hatcher at this point, where the humidity should be increased to 65% and even higher once they have pipped internally.


Bird banding:
Recommended closed leg band ring size for the Scaly-sided merganser is 11 mm.
The leg band ring can only be applied on a young large sea duck at around 12 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it's good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Rearing food:
Lundi Micro 35
Lundi Micro 35
Lundi Micro 35
Lundi Micro 35
Lundi Micro 35
Lundi Micro 35
Lundi Micro 35
Floatable special rearing feed for all ornamental waterfowl species, even for problematic eaters. This ideally balanced complete feed with 35% protein content forms the basis for healthy growth and lifelong vitality. Made exclusively from wholesome and selected raw materials, Lundi Micro is also ideally suited for the year-round feeding of waterfowl.
Maintenance food:
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium

Floating full food for all sea ducks, green ducks, eider ducks and geese, especially in the moulting and breeding phase ideally suited. Packed with wholesome raw materials, natural vitamins and trace elements, this performance food with a protein content of 30% forms the basis for lifelong vitality.

Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit

Floatable special complete food for sea birds with the highest nutritional requirements. Each chunk contains the complete nutrient spectrum. The high protein content of 35% ensures a healthy and species-appropriate diet. Spiral algae give a more magnificent coloration of plumage and sea salt promotes the salt gland.

Photos of the Scaly-sided merganser

Videos of the Scaly-sided merganser