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Auckland Island merganser, Mergus australis, AV1110

Physical Description

Duck-like bird with a long narrow beak with ridged edges. Mounted in a flat-footed standing position with its head tilted so that the beak is pointing up at a 45 degree angle. Wings are folded back against its body and the head is facing forward.

Research Notes

'The specimen in the Otago Museum has darker plumage than either of my specimens. It is probably a younger bird. for there is scarcely and appearance of a crest. The feet have been painted dull red by the taxidermist, who is a very careful observer; the base colour of the lower mandible paler red, the rest blackish-brown" [Buller (1905) Supplement to Birds of New Zealand, vol 2, p21].

As the bird has almost no crest and a short tail, it seems to be a juvenile. [Kear and Scarlett (1970) The Auckland Islands Merganser. Wildfowl 21, p. 78-86].

NOTE: Buller (1905) states "No sex given, but I take it to be a male" but Kear and Scarlett (1970) list this specimen as a female.


The Auckland Islands Merganser; Janet Kear
Supplement to the Birds of Zealand; Sir W. Buller

Field Collection

Possibly collected in Jan 1890 [Kear and Scarlett (1970) The Auckland Islands Merganser. Wildfowl 21, p. 78-86].


Maximum dimensions (H x W x D): 182 x 285 x 146mm
Length (Culmen): 55mm
Length (Wing): 177mm
Length (Tail): 69mm
Length (Tarsus): 38mm
Length (Mid-toe): 56mm



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