Help me identify this water bird

by Freda
(Pulaski VA)

I live on a small lake in central Virginia. I saw a duck-like or gull like bird. It had a white body with a solid black round head with a short red beak. Any idea on what it is? I could not find it in my field guide.

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Jan 31, 2018
help id water bird
by: roma

hi freida, i think i found your bird. jt is the common merganser. it does have some black on it,s back, and a bit on it,s wings, but seen from the side it would look white.

this male is in mating plumage, it has a brown head when it doesn,t, the female is gray. if you can, get a photo of it, because this guy is a long way from home, it,s range is northern eurasia and north america, he prefers fresh water in winter, but it says it winters in sierras or rocky mountains.

i don,t know where it winters in the east.

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