Photograph taken February 17, 2013 in Raritan Bay Waterfront Park on the NJ coast. Any suggestions?
The thin pink-red bill, the “bad hair day” look and the coloration (brownish-greyish, with white patterns on the face) suggest a female Common Merganser.
I take that back: the whitish, thin neck actually suggests a female Red-breasted Merganser.
Red-breasted Merg was my first impression too…
I agree that it is a Merganser. The second photo looks like there is a crest (Red-breasted), but the first doesn’t appear to have a crest (Common.) One bird and two views can make an accurate ID difficult.
I was going to go with Red-breasted Merganser as well. If it was diving, the crest can be all mussed, from what I watched with the group that was at Sebastian Inlet this year.
Yep, I came to the same conclusion. Red-breasted Merganser. Common Mergansers and this species can sometimes be a hard ID especially with drab individuals. Just wanted to keep your bird ID skills sharp!