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Species, Age and Sex Identification of Ducks Using Wing Plumage

Common Merganser

Wing Character Male Female
Adult Immature Immature Adult
Tertials Three or four most distal mostly white with narrow black margins on outer web; others black; all are acutely pointed All are dark gray with pointed tips that are usually frayed and faded All are dark gray and bluntly pointed
Greater tertial coverts Most are white with smoothly rounded tips All are dark gray; taper toward tips that are usually somewhat frayed All dark gray; tips smoothly rounded
Greater secondary coverts Cover the dark bases of the secondaries on normally spread wing
Proximal 2/3 is white to tips Proximal 2/3 is white on outer webs with traces of black or gray at tips Proximal 2/3 is white with black bands at tips
Middle and lesser secondary coverts Do not completely cover dark bases of greater coverts on normally spread wing
Entirely white over secondaries Gray; but more distal coverts often form a pale area Gray; slightly darker than on males; never have a pale area
Notch-length 99% > 260 mm. 97% > 254 mm. 97% < 254 mm. 99% < 260 mm.

JPG-Adult male common merganser JPG-Adult female common merganser JPG-Immature male common merganser JPG-Immature female common merganser

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