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Bird name:

Smew

Mergellus albellus

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)

BTO 2

SY

BTO 5

SMEW.

Euring 5

02200
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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

UK Conservation Status


Amber Status

European Conservation Status


Conservation Description


In the UK, Isle of Man, and Ireland, the Smew winters in southern England. It has an "Amber" status because of recent population declines.

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SUMMARY

Overview

Smew: Fairly small duck with rather narrow, grey bill. White with crested head, black around eye and on hindcrown. Two black lines on side of breast, and black back. Grey lower back and tail, flanks with fine grey barring. Dark grey wings with white wing patch. Fast, direct flight.


Range and Habitat

Smew: Scarce winter visitor to the UK & Ireland. Birds arrive from Scandinavian breeding grounds, and can be seen from late autumn until spring. Birds are most likely seen in south England from Norfolk to Cornwall. Look for them on lakes, and ponds or at the coast. More birds are seen in especially cold years.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"krrr"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Smew was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist. It is the smallest of the mergansers.
  • They are also known as Weasel Coot and White Nun, and are sometimes considered to be a link between the Goldeneyes and the larger Mergansers.
  • The females and immature males can be confused at a distance with the Ruddy Duck; they are often known as "redhead" Smew.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "daggle", "flock", "paddling", and a "wadddling" of ducks.

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FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.

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ITIS CodesX

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at http://www.itis.gov/advanced_search.html. You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

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Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX