Lakes and rivers bordered by forests mature (conifer or mixed) enough to provide nesting cavities (Mallory and Metz 1999) and in mountainous terrain (AOU 1983, Terres 1980). Northern limit of breeding range follow limit of open boreal forest (Palmer 1976, Haapanen and Nilsson 1979, Bellrose 1980). Females move broods downstream to larger rivers, lakes, or bays (White 1957, Erskine 1972, Wood 1985, McNicol et al. 1995). In B.C., breeds on marine shores at sea level to mountainous regions up to 1,000 m in elevation (Campbell et al. 1990).
AOU. 1983. Check-list of North American birds. 6th ed.American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington D. C. Bellrose, F. C. 1980. Ducks, geese and swans of North America. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA.
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, and M. C. E. McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1 and 2, Nonpasserines. UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C.
Erskine, A. J. 1972. Buffleheads. Can. Wildl. Serv. Monogr. Ser. No. 4.
Haapanen, A. and L. Nilsson. 1979. Breeding waterfowl populations in northern Fennoscandia. Ornis. Scand. 10: 145-219.
Mallory, M. and K. Metz. 1999. Common Merganser (Mergus merganser). In The Birds of North America. Vol. 12, No. 442 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.
McNicol, D. K., R. K. Ross, M. L. Mallory, and L. A. Brisebois. 1995. Trends in waterfowl populations: evidence of recovery from acidification. Ch. 16. Pp. 203-217 In: Environmental restoration and recovery of an industrial region (J. M. Gunn, ed.). Springer-Verlag, New York.
Palmer, R. S., editor. 1976. Handbook of North American birds. Vol. 2. Waterfowl (first part). Whistling ducks, swans, geese, sheld-ducks, dabbling ducks. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven. 521 pp.
Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY.
White, H. C. 1957. Food and natural history of mergansers on salmon waters in the maritime provinces of Canada. Fish Res. Board Canada Bull. No. 116.
Wood, C. C. 1985. Aggregative response of Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser): predicting flock size and abundance on Vancouver Island salmon streams. Can J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 42: 1259-1271.