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Red-breasted Mergansers are fairly common in the winter along the coast of New Jersey. In the past two weeks, I took their photos at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and also near the Barnegat Lighthouse on two different occasions.

Female Red-breasted Merganser looking for fish.
Female Red-breasted Merganser and no fish.
Female Red-breasted Merganser with fish.

According to All About Birds, a Red-breasted Merganser has to eat 15 to 20 fish per day, requiring it to dive under water for 250 to 300 times a day! The Red-breasted Merganser population in North America is stable and has been estimated at 500,000 in 2017.

Female Red-breasted Merganser.
Two males and one female Red-breasted Mergansers.
Female Red-breasted Merganser.