___Breast (in the male) reddish brown: speculum white, divided by one or two transverse bars: bill and legs red: crest (in the adult male) long, slender, pendent.
M. Serrator, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 884. Red-breasted Merganser, Mont. Orrt. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 257. Selb. Must. vol. ii. p. 379. pls. 58, & 58*. (Trachea,) Linn. Trans. vol. iv. pl. 16. f. 1, & 2. Dimens. Entire length twenty-two inches.
(Adult male). Head, a pendent crest On the occiput, and upper part of the neck, greenish black, with glossy reflections; lower part of the neck white, the mesial line behind black; breast reddish brown, spotted and variegated with black; near the insertion of the wing, several large white spots bordered with black; upper part of the back, scapulars, edge of the wing and adjoining coverts, and primary quills, black; the rest of the coverts, and secondary quills, white, but these last, as well as the greater coverts, black at the base, the whole together forming a large speculum divided by two transverse oars; some of the secondaries nearest the body white edged with black: lower part of the back, rump, and flanks, grayish white, with fine transverse undulating black lines; belly and abdomen white; tail brown: bill orange-red; the ridge and nail dusky: irides red: legs orange. (Adult female). Head, crest, and neck, dull ferruginous; throat white; fore part of the neck and breast variegated with white and ash-gray; lower part of the neck behind, back, rump, wings, and scapulars, dark ash-colour; speculum white, with one transverse bar, by which it may always be distinguished from the female of the last species, which in other respects it greatly resembles; belly and abdomen white; flanks dark ash-colour: bill and legs dull orange: irides brown. (Young male of the year). Head deep brown; throat grayish white; bill pale red; irides yellowish: in other respects like the adult female. (Egg). Smooth and shining; buff-colour: long. diam. two inches six lines; trans, diam. one inch nine lines.
A winter visitant in England, and not often met with in the southern counties. More abundant northward. Breeds in some of the Scotch lakes. Nest, according to Selby, composed of small sticks and grass, lined with the down of the female; built in the thick herbage on the edge of the main land, or on small islets in the lake. Eggs nine in number. Food and habits similar to those of the last species.