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70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

More than 70 North American bird species live in nest boxes or on platforms.

See which birds live near you. Learn about those birds and how to make birdhouses for them.

 

Too many bird houses can drive off nesting birds, including a specific bird species we want to attract.

For most yards, select just one or two bird species that are known to nest in bird houses in that region.

 

Some bird species are more easily attracted to bird houses than other bird species.

 

See each species page for habits, geographic ranges and optimum locations and placement.

 

Common Merganser

Mergus merganser

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Mergus
Species: merganser

La. anser goose
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. anous foolish
La. anas duck
La. –idae appearance, resemblance
iLa. mergus waterbird

Painting of common mergansers in a large lake with flying duck flocks and a distant shore in the background.

About two feet long. Glossy greenish black head and neck. Black back fading to ashy gray on lower back and tail. Brown wings with a black bar across white coverts. White breast with a pinkish tinge. Toothed red bill.

Common mergansers nest from Minnesota, the Great Lakes region and New England States far into Northern Canada beyond the tree limit, much further south in the western states.

Common mergansers inhabit North America, nesting from Minnesota, the Great Lakes region and New England States far into Northern Canada beyond the tree limit, much further south in the western states. They winter from New England states, Illinois, and Kansas southward and in western North America from British Columbia to California, Texas and Mexico. Also common in Europe, Asia, Iceland, Greenland and the Orkney Islands.

They dive for fish, frogs and mollusks. Common mergansers are such gluttonous birds that they often swallow fish so large that they must wait to swallow completely until the fish’s heads are digested.

Common mergansers are such adept swimmers, they will dive into raging torrents after fish and even under ice.

Only when water is nearly completely frozen over isolating them from their food will common mergansers finally fly south in small flocks of six or eight.

Painting of common mergansers paddling in a lake near shore and forest.

Common mergansers build nests of leaves, grasses and moss lined with their own down in tree hollows, cliff crevices and river banks. They will also raise broods in nest boxes of the right dimensions in the right places.

Females lay six to sixteen ivory-white eggs around June which hatch after about one month of incubation. Young are led to water within a day or two of hatching where they immediately begin learning to swim and dive for insect larvae, minnows and snails. They learn to fly at about two months.

Common Merganser Nest Box

The common merganser nest box has a 10″ by 10″ floor, 33″ inside ceiling, 5″ by 5″ square entrance opening located 30″ above the floor (to the top of the opening) and ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.
Make a Side Door.

Please do not attract duck families and leave them vulnerable to predators. Significant reduction in predation has been achieved through proper location, installation and protection from predators.

Duck nest box management best practices have so drastically reduced duckling mortality that it's probably unwise to do it any other way. It's even easier. Metal posts, cone guards, near the water, above ground, within reach, side opening doors. No ladders or boats. Easier, safer, best success rates.

Visit the Wood Duck Society. Follow their tested and proven best practices.

Visit the Common Merganser Nest Box Page.

Common Merganser Nest Box

View or print the Common Merganser Nest Box Plans.

View/Print Plans

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Common Merganser

Mergus merganser

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Mergus
Species: merganser

La. anser goose
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. anous foolish
La. anas duck
La. –idae appearance, resemblance
iLa. mergus waterbird

Painting of common mergansers in a large lake with flying duck flocks and a distant shore in the background.

About two feet long. Glossy greenish black head and neck. Black back fading to ashy gray on lower back and tail. Brown wings with a black bar across white coverts. White breast with a pinkish tinge. Toothed red bill.

Common mergansers nest from Minnesota, the Great Lakes region and New England States far into Northern Canada beyond the tree limit, much further south in the western states.

Common mergansers inhabit North America, nesting from Minnesota, the Great Lakes region and New England States far into Northern Canada beyond the tree limit, much further south in the western states. They winter from New England states, Illinois, and Kansas southward and in western North America from British Columbia to California, Texas and Mexico. Also common in Europe, Asia, Iceland, Greenland and the Orkney Islands.

They dive for fish, frogs and mollusks. Common mergansers are such gluttonous birds that they often swallow fish so large that they must wait to swallow completely until the fish’s heads are digested.

Common mergansers are such adept swimmers, they will dive into raging torrents after fish and even under ice.

Only when water is nearly completely frozen over isolating them from their food will common mergansers finally fly south in small flocks of six or eight.

Painting of common mergansers paddling in a lake near shore and forest.

Common mergansers build nests of leaves, grasses and moss lined with their own down in tree hollows, cliff crevices and river banks. They will also raise broods in nest boxes of the right dimensions in the right places.

Females lay six to sixteen ivory-white eggs around June which hatch after about one month of incubation. Young are led to water within a day or two of hatching where they immediately begin learning to swim and dive for insect larvae, minnows and snails. They learn to fly at about two months.

Common Merganser Nest Box

The Common Merganser Nest Box has a 10″ by 10″ floor, 33″ inside ceiling, 5″ by 5″ square entrance opening located 30″ above the floor (to the top of the opening) and ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof. Make a Side Door.

Please do not attract duck families and leave them vulnerable to predators. Significant reduction in predation has been achieved through proper location, installation and protection from predators.

Duck nest box management best practices have so drastically reduced duckling mortality that it's probably unwise to do it any other way. It's even easier. Metal posts, cone guards, near the water, above ground, within reach, side opening doors. No ladders or boats. Easier, safer, best success rates.

Visit the Wood Duck Society. Follow their tested and proven best practices.

Visit the Common Merganser Nest Box Page.

Common Merganser Nest Box

View or print the Common Merganser Nest Box Plans.

View/Print Plans

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Common Merganser

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Painting of common mergansers in a large lake with flying duck flocks and a distant shore in the background.

Mergus merganser

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Mergus
Species: merganser

La. anser goose
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. anous foolish
La. anas duck
La. –idae appearance, resemblance
iLa. mergus waterbird

About two feet long. Glossy greenish black head and neck. Black back fading to ashy gray on lower back and tail. Brown wings with a black bar across white coverts. White breast with a pinkish tinge. Toothed red bill.

Common mergansers nest from Minnesota, the Great Lakes region and New England States far into Northern Canada beyond the tree limit, much further south in the western states.

Common mergansers inhabit North America, nesting from Minnesota, the Great Lakes region and New England States far into Northern Canada beyond the tree limit, much further south in the western states. They winter from New England states, Illinois, and Kansas southward and in western North America from British Columbia to California, Texas and Mexico. Also common in Europe, Asia, Iceland, Greenland and the Orkney Islands.

Painting of common mergansers paddling in a lake near shore and forest.

They dive for fish, frogs and mollusks. Common mergansers are such gluttonous birds that they often swallow fish so large that they must wait to swallow completely until the fish’s heads are digested.

Common mergansers are such adept swimmers, they will dive into raging torrents after fish and even under ice.

Only when water is nearly completely frozen over isolating them from their food will common mergansers finally fly south in small flocks of six or eight.

Common mergansers build nests of leaves, grasses and moss lined with their own down in tree hollows, cliff crevices and river banks. They will also raise broods in nest boxes of the right dimensions in the right places.

Females lay six to sixteen ivory-white eggs around June which hatch after about one month of incubation. Young are led to water within a day or two of hatching where they immediately begin learning to swim and dive for insect larvae, minnows and snails. They learn to fly at about two months.

Visit the Common Merganser Nest Box Page.
Common Merganser Nest Box

The Wood Duck Nest Box (same as for Hooded Merganser, and Kestrel) has a 10″ by 10″ floor, 24″ inside floor to ceiling, 4″ wide by 3″ high entrance hole located 21″ above the floor and ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

Make a Side Opening Door for easy access.

View or print the Common Merganser Nest Box Plans.

Common Merganser
Nest Box Plans

Duck nest box management best practices have so drastically reduced duckling mortality that it's probably unwise to do it any other way. It's even easier. Metal posts, cone guards, near the water, above ground, within reach, side opening doors. No ladders or boats. Easier, safer, best success rates.

Visit the Wood Duck Society. Follow their tested and proven best practices.

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