Fun Brazilian Merganser Facts For Kids

Abhishek Mishra
Jan 11, 2023 By Abhishek Mishra
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Find interesting Brazilian merganser facts for kids.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

Endemic to South America, the Brazilian merganser (Mergus octosetaceus) is a diving duck that belongs to the Mergus genus. The population of the species is diminishing so badly that it has become one of the six most threatened waterfowl species in the world.

The bird possesses a slender body with a shiny dark-green hood and a long crest. In females, the crest is shorter and more worn-looking. The upperparts are generally dark gray while the breast is light gray, and the belly is white. The species also possesses a thin spiky black bill and red legs and feet. Unlike males, females are quite short and have shorter bills. Young birds are black with a white throat and breast.

The Brazilian merganser's habitats generally include mountainous regions and it dwells in clean rivers and streams with river rapids and riparian vegetation. The geographical range of the species includes center-south Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. Around 28 adults and 19 young are found in Serra da Canastra while most of these birds are found in the Serra de Canastra National Park.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species as Critically Endangered. The species is majorly affected by human activities such as farming, mining, deforestation, the installation of hydroelectric plants, and many more.

For more relatable content, check out these loggerhead shrike facts and white-rumped sandpiper facts for kids.

Brazilian Merganser Interesting Facts

What type of animal is Brazilian merganser?

The Brazilian merganser (Mergus octosetaceus) is a diving duck that belongs to the order Anseriformes. In Brazil, the species is primarily found in the Serra da Canastra region. The population of these birds is diminishing so badly that it has become one of the six most threatened waterfowl species in the world.

What class of animal does Brazilian merganser belong to?

The Brazilian merganser (Mergus octosetaceus) belongs to the class of Aves, the Anatidae family, and the Mergus genus.

How many Brazilian mergansers are there in the world?

The population of Brazilian mergansers would be around 250 in the wild while some birds are also kept in captivity. Around 28 adults and 19 young are found in Serra da Canastra in the Serra de Canastra National Park. The population of these birds is decreasing drastically.

Where does a Brazilian merganser live?

The species is endemic to South America and the geographical range of the Brazilian merganser (Mergus octosetaceus) includes center-south Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.

What is a Brazilian merganser's habitat?

The habitat of Brazilian mergansers generally includes mountainous regions. This bird dwells in clean rivers and streams with river rapids and riparian vegetation. These birds generally prefer a habitat that is abundant in fish.

Who do Brazilian mergansers live with?

Like other species of the Anaditae family, these birds form mixed or monotypic flocks, and they are quite socially active while feeding and roosting. Also, these birds come together in the breeding season.

How long does a Brazilian merganser live?

The exact lifespan of Brazilian mergansers is not known as of now but these ducks generally survive longer in the wild than in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Breeding of these waterfowl ducks generally depends on the presence of suitable nesting and feeding sites. The bird usually constructs nests in tree cavities, rock crevices, and disused burrows. Studies reveal that the breeding season generally occurs in the austral winters when levels of rain are minimal. Female ducks lay around three to six eggs in the months of June and July and the ducklings are capable of flight by September or October of the same year. Adult ducks are not migratory and they remain in the same territory throughout the year. Both parents generally take care of the ducklings when they are born.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species as Critically Endangered. Threats such as farming, mining, deforestation, the installation of hydroelectric plants, and many more have affected the population of the species quite badly. Several institutes and organizations such as Terra Brasilis work on projects to monitor the population of Brazilian mergansers.

Brazilian Merganser Fun Facts

What does a Brazilian merganser look like?

This bird generally possesses a slender body with a shiny dark-green hood and a long crest. In females, the crest is shorter and more worn-looking. The upperparts are generally dark gray while the breast is light gray, and the belly is white. The species also possesses a thin spiky black bill and red legs and feet. Unlike males, females are quite short and have shorter bills, Young birds are black with a white throat and breast.

 

How cute are they?

The waterfowl is one of the best colorful birds in Brazil, Paraguay, and other parts of South America. They look quite innocent and cute and the love of the parents towards their ducklings will surely mesmerize anyone!

How do they communicate?

Unlike other species of the Anatidae family, this waterfowl is generally known as a silent bird. However, these birds can make several barking and alarm calls during certain situations. They possess four alarm calls and a harsh 'krack-krack' call is used during flight. Males have barking dog-like calls while females have a harsh 'rrrr-rrrr' call. Ducklings generally have a high-pitched 'ik-ik-ik-ik' call.

How big is a Brazilian merganser?

The average weight and length of Brazilian mergansers are around 1.32-1.54 lb (600-700 g) and 19.26-20.86 in (49-56 cm) respectively. These ducks are twice the size of the African pygmy goose while some are even bigger than the ring-necked duck.

How fast can a Brazilian merganser fly?

The exact speed of the Brazilian merganser is not known but most waterfowl species fly at speeds of around 40-60 mph (64.37-96.56 kph). Ducklings are capable of flying between three to four months after birth.

How much does a Brazilian merganser weigh?

The Brazilian merganser weighs about 1.32-1.54 lb (600-700 g)

What are their male and female names of the species?

An adult Brazilian merganser is called a drake while people generally use terms such as duck and hen to refer to a female Brazilian merganser. In females, the crest is shorter and more worn-looking and unlike males, females are quite short and have shorter bills. Young birds are black with a white throat and breast.

What would you call a baby Brazilian merganser?

A baby Brazilian merganser is known as a duckling. They are black and generally possess a white throat and breast.

What do they eat?

These birds are omnivores and they generally prey on fish, mollusks, insects, and larvae. They generally prefer to live in a river that is abundant in fish to make capturing food as easy as possible. Several carnivore animals such as coyotes and badgers can prey on these ducks.

Are they dangerous?

These ducks are not dangerous but they may attack if someone tries to approach or threaten them. They also possess a thin jabbed bill.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these birds primarily belong in the wild and they are not considered good pets. They require a specific type of habitat and environment to flourish in and they are adapted to survive in rivers and streams. It would become quite difficult for humans to keep them in captivity, but you can find these beautiful ducks in national parks and zoos.

Did you know...

A related species, the scaly-sided merganser, is also known as the Chinese merganser.

Why is the Brazilian merganser endangered?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species as Critically Endangered. Threats such as farming, mining, deforestation, and the installation of hydroelectric plants have affected the population of the species quite badly.

Several institutes and organizations such as Terra Brasilis have started plenty of different projects to monitor the population of Brazilian mergansers. Also, the Brazilian Ministry of Environment has published an action plan for the conservation of these birds.

How many types of mergansers are there?

Mergansers from the Mergus genus are true ducks and the genus consists of around four species: the common merganser, the Brazilian merganser, the red-breasted merganser, and the scaly-sided merganser. These ducks are commonly known as fish-eating ducks and these birds are found in different parts of America, Europe, and Asia.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our harlequin duck facts and cinnamon teal facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Brazilian merganser coloring pages.

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Written by Abhishek Mishra

Bachelor of Arts specializing in History

Abhishek Mishra picture

Abhishek MishraBachelor of Arts specializing in History

As a content writer, Abhishek's passion for writing extends beyond professional content creation. With a Bachelor's degree in History from Ram Lal Anand College in Delhi, Abhishek is a skilled writer in both English and Hindi, bringing a creative flair to his work. He enjoys crafting satires and poetry and is dedicated to producing engaging and informative content.

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