The Chinese merganser: An endangered duck with a funny hairstyle
In Jilin Province's Baihe River Chinese Merganser Nature Reserve, a family of 26 Chinese mergansers was spotted joyfully enjoying the water.
Listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the Chinese merganser is under first-class state protection in China. There are less than 5,000 Chinese mergansers left in the wild globally.
Funny "hairstyle" of the Chinese merganser. /VCG Photo

Funny "hairstyle" of the Chinese merganser. /VCG Photo

The Chinese merganser is also known as the scaly-sided merganser and is a migratory bird that breeds in the north and winters in the south. It can be found in forests of China, Russia, and the Korean Peninsula.
The adult males and females are very different in their feather colors. The males often have black feathers on their heads and backs while the females have brownish-yellow heads and are grey on their backs.
Female Chinese merganser. /VCG PHoto

Female Chinese merganser. /VCG PHoto

The Chinese merganser typically hatches seven or eight ducklings at a time, but an experienced mother like the one in the video can be aggressive enough to tempt ducklings from other clutches to be her own. To do this she has to be confident enough in providing food for all of them.
(Cover image via VCG.)
(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at