Of the true Mergansers (Merganser) two species are found in North America, the American (M. americanus) and the Red-breasted (M. serrator). All have a more or less conspicuous occipital crest, the males being grayish above, somewhat pied with black and whitish, and creamy white or pale salmon-colored below, while the neck and head are greenish black. Most of them nest in hollow trees, but some, as the Red-breasted species, may nest on the ground, under a rock or even in a hole in the ground. The eggs are usually from six to ten in number and creamy or buffy white in color.
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