Breast, and speculum on the wing, white; the latter without transverse bars: bill and legs red: crest (in the adult male) short and bushy.
M. Merganser, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 881. Goosander, Mont. Orn. Diet, & Supp. Selb. Must. vol. ii. p. 375. pl. 57. Goosander and Dun-Diver, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. pp. 250, & 253. (Trachea,) Linn. Trans, vol. xv. pl. 15. f. h.
Entire length twenty-four inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) two inches four lines, (from the gape) three inches one line; of the tarsus two inches one line; from the carpus to the end of the wing ten inches six lines. (Young male). The adult sometimes attains a length of twenty-nine inches.
(Adult male). Head and upper part of the neck glossy greenish black; the feathers on the crown and occiput elongated, forming a short crest: lower part of the neck, breast, belly, and abdomen, cream-yellow, fading after death to pure white: upper part of the back, inner scapulars, humeral wing-coverts, bastard winglet, basal halves of the greater coverts, and fourteen outer quills, black; outer scapulars, all the lesser coverts except the humeral ones, six of the secondary quills, and tips of the greater coverts immediately above them, white: lower back, rump, and tail, deep ash-gray: bill vermilion red; the ridge and nail black: irides red: legs vermilion. (Adult female). Crown, and occipital crest (the latter longer and more slender than in the male), ferruginous brown; rest of the head, and upper part of the neck, bright ferruginous; chin and throat pure white; lower part of the neck before, sides of the breast, flanks, and thighs, white and ash-colour mixed; belly and abdomen yellowish white: back, scapulars, wing-coverts, and tail, deep ash-colour: primaries dusky; six of the secondaries, and tips of the impending coverts, white, forming a large speculum: bill dull red; the ridge and nail blackish: irides brown: legs yellowish red. The young males of the year resemble the adult female. At the end of the first year, the white on the throat begins to be spotted with black; the crown becomes dusky, and the ferruginous brown on the neck is edged at bottom with black; the white also appears on the wing-coverts. (Egg). Pale olive white,tinged with buff: long. diam. two inches six lines; trans, diam. one inch eight lines.
Found in the Orkneys, and some other of the Scotch Islands, throughout the year. In England, only a winter visitant, and seldom seen at all in the more southern districts except in severe seasons. Frequents lakes, large rivers, and estuaries. Nest said to be placed amongst loose stones near the edge of the water, occasionally in bushes, or in hollow trees.
Eggs twelve to fourteen in number. Food, fish and amphibious reptiles. Obs. The Dun-Diver of English authors (M. Castor, Linn). is the female of this species.