(Mergellus Albellus)

Appearance - The male Smew is mostly white with a black eye patch extending to the beak, a black patch at the base of the crest, a black mantle, a black rump, grey-black markings on the wings, and the legs and feet are greyish. The female has a brown chestnut head with white cheeks and throat, upperparts are a mottled grey, and breast, belly, and underparts are grey-white. Like the Mergansers, the Smew is a sawbill. The beak has a hooked tip and serrated edges which helps when catching fish.

Notes - The Smew is a sea duck which has a sawbill and feeds mainly on fish and is closely related to the Mergansers (Mergus) and Goldeneyes (Bucephala). The drake has a distinct black and white colouring in flight which led to the nickname 'White nun'.

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Smew - August 2011 & March 2012

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Smew - May 2014
Smew - May 2014

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Smew Identification

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Smew (Mergellus Albellus) video
Smew (Mergellus Albellus)