The Diverse Tribe Mergini, The Sea Ducks

The sea ducks species make up the taxonomic tribe Mergini.
Merginae, form a subfamily of the waterfowl family of birds, Anatidae.

Tribe Mergini, or sea ducks, are a diverse assemblage of essentially marine-dwelling diving birds. They breed primarily in higher latitudes of Canada and Alaska. More than half of sea duck species are below long term averages, showing declines.

These diving marine birds are very differerent in reproductive strategy, behaviour, ecology, physiology, and biology from the more commonly recognized dabbler ducks. Management must carefully recognize and consider these critical differences to promote sustainability.

Most are long lived birds exhibiting K-selected reproductive strategies and vulnerable behaviours,
like site fidelity and tight rafting. This makes them susceptible to added mortality factors and localized depletions.

Sea ducks are the deepest divng Tribe of Anatidae using foot-propelled and/or wing propelled locomotion.

Mergini use specialized bills to eat mollusks or crustaceans from the benthic ocean floor or
like Mergansers or Smew have serrated edges to their bills to help them grip fish.
Bucephala islandica
Melanitta nigra
Bucephala albeola
Somateria mollissima
Bucephala clangula
Photo by Tony Hisgett
Mergus merganser
Histrionicus histrionicus
Photo by Gary Chu
Lophodytes cucullatus
Somateria spectabilis
Photo by Ryan Somma
Camptorhynchus labradorius
Photo by Wolfgang Wander.
Clangula hyemalis
Photo by Wikimedia User Snowmanradio
Mergus serrator
Mergellus albellus
Photo by Laura Whitehouse, USFWS
Somateria fischeri
Polysticta stelleri
Melanitta perspicillata
Melanitta fusca