Smew (Slimbridge May 2012)
The Smew is the only member of the Mergellus genus and is a Sea Duck.
The Smew has a saw bill which it uses to mainly eat fish. The Smew is related to the Merganser and the Goldeneye.
Although the Smew population is decreasing, it is currenly classed as Least Concern. The Smew is one of the ducks to which the Agreement on the Consevation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds applies.
380mm to 440mm (15" to 17")
Appearance - Male
The male has White plumage, a Black eye patch down the the dark Grey bill, a White crest with Black at the base. The back rump and wings have Grey/Black markings and the sides are light Grey with dark vermiculations. The legs and feet are Grey.
Appearance - Female
The female has a Chestnut Brown upper head and rear neck with a White lower head and throat and Grey bill. The upper-parts and sides are a medium mottled Grey with a White belly. The legs and feet are Grey.
Lakes, Ponds and Coastal Areas.
Fish, Insect Larvae, Molluscs, and Crustaceans.
April to May.
The nest is built in tree hollows lined with feathers and down.
Quantity: 6 to 9
Average size: 53mm x 38mm.
Colour: Creamy Buff.