Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus)

The Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus) is a critically endangered bird species, currently found in only a few isolated river systems in Brazil. It is the rarest duck species in South America, with an estimated population of less than 250 individuals.

The Brazilian Merganser is a medium-sized bird, measuring up to 50 cm in length, and weighing about 800 grams. It has a distinctive glossy black crest on its head, with a white chin patch and black bill. The male and female birds are similar in appearance, with the male having a slightly larger crest and a more pronounced white patch.

The Brazilian Merganser is a diving bird that feeds primarily on fish and aquatic invertebrates. It inhabits fast-flowing rivers and streams with clean water, rocky or forested banks, and deep pools. The bird is a solitary species, with breeding pairs remaining together throughout the year and forming small family groups during the breeding season.

The breeding season of the Brazilian Merganser typically lasts from August to December. The female bird lays a clutch of 4 to 7 cream-colored eggs in a nest made of leaves, grass, and twigs. The eggs are incubated for about a month, and the young birds leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching. The young birds are cared for by both parents and stay with them until they are able to fly.

The Brazilian Merganser faces several threats that have contributed to its critically endangered status. The primary threats are habitat destruction, pollution of waterways, uncontrolled hunting, and the introduction of non-native species such as predatory fish and mussels. As a result, conservation efforts have been put in place to protect the remaining populations of the bird. These efforts include habitat restoration, captive breeding, and public education programs.

In conclusion, the Brazilian Merganser is a critically endangered duck species that requires urgent conservation attention. It is a unique and important species, not only for its intrinsic value but also for the ecosystem services it provides in the freshwater systems where it occurs. It is important to take concrete actions to protect this bird and its habitat, not only for its own survival but also for the benefit of future generations.

Other names

Mergus octosetaceus



Brazilian Merganser

bec de serra sud-americà



brazilski ronac

morčák brazilský

Brasiliansk Skallesluger

Braziliaanse Zaagbek


Harle huppard


Smergo del Brasile


brazilinis dančiasnapis


tracz brazylijski


Бразильский крохаль

Brazilski ronac

potápač tmavý

Serreta brasileña


Yeşil Tarakdiş

крех бразильський

brasiilia koskel

füstös bukó