Tundra and boreal forest zones on fresh, brackish, and saltwater wetlands with sheltered bays, typically not far from sea coast (Titman 1999). Nests along inland waters, generally on ground on small islands with low vegetative cover, and also near seacoast and occasionally on shores of ocean or on coastal islands (NatureServe 2007b). In B.C., breeding sites were heavily vegetated with shrubs and trees and ranged from sea level to 770 m in elevation (Campbell et al. 1990). Nests on islets in B.C. were situated among dune wild rye, Nootka rose, coastal strawberry, Nootka lupine, or salal (M. S. Rodway pers. Comm. In Campbell et al. 1990).
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.
NatureServe. 2007b. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 6.2. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer.
Titman, R. D. 1999. Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator). In The Birds of North America, Vol. 12, No. 443 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.