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Aves, 47/4 | 2010 | 201-212

  Predation behaviour of the Common Goosander Mergus merganser in low water levels
Delcourt, J.

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Article summary

This article describes the predation behaviour of the Common Goosander, observed on the river Ourthe during periods of low water levels. Even though it is catalogued as a diving duck, the bird can, starting from the “head under water” posture typical of the species, adopt a mode of search and pursuit of its prey which does not require diving. The “head under water” posture has been noted previously in the specialist literature, but it has never before been so precisely described. The fishing behaviour in very low water levels was never mentioned. We report here observations carried out in September 2009 and June 2010 on the site of the Grosses-Battes in Basse-Ourthe (Angleur). These observations show that some summering individuals prefer riffle zone close to the dam as feeding site at times of low water level, even though many deeper zones are accessible in the vicinity.

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