Smew

Mergellus albellus

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

Smew

Code 6

MERALB

ITIS

  • wgba_banner
  • ibird_banner
  • journal_banner
1 2 3

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Smew has a large range, estimated globally at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 square kilometers. Native to Europe, Asia, and North America, this bird prefers forest, wetland, or marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 130,000 to 210,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Smew is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Smew: Small merganser, mostly white body except for black back, mask, breast bar, and V-shaped nape patch. Wings are dark with large white patches. Gray legs, feet. Feeds on fish, aquatic insects, and their larvae. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.


Range and Habitat

Smew: Eurasian species, rare fall and winter visitor in western Aleutians; casual on Pribilofs; accidental in many regions of the U.S., including Washington, Oregon, California, along the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes region, and Massachusetts. Preferred habitats include lakes, bays, and rivers.

whatbird search for your browser

SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"krrr"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Smew was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist. It is the smallest of the mergansers.
  • The females and immature males can be confused at a distance with the Ruddy Duck; they are often known as "redhead" Smew.
  • They are also known as Weasel Coot and White Nun, and are sometimes considered to be a link between the Goldeneyes and the larger Mergansers.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Smew

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X