|Irish Name:||Síolta mhór|
|Scientific name:||Mergus merganser|
Resident at larger lakes in Counties Wicklow and Donegal. Rare winter visitor throughout Ireland.
Large, long-bodied, with a long narrow red bill ending in a hook. Swimming birds often retract their long necks. Adult males largely white with glossy green-black neck and head. Back largely black. Females with dark red-brown head, though with a white throat patch, greyish body.
Male call is deep muffled 'krroo-krraa'.
Goosanders feed largely on small and medium sized fish, and occasionally larger fish such as Pike.
Breed on freshwater lakes and pools and winter on large unfrozen lakes and brackish lagoons and occasionally on coastal estuaries. The most recent breeding records in Ireland come from County Wicklow, where one pair was confirmed breeding in 1994, and annual breeding has since been deemed likely, though not confirmed
Irish birds appear to be largely resident. Birds from Continental Europe can occasionally found along coastal areas in winter.
I-WeBS and BirdTrack.
Rare in Ireland. Avonmore River and Glendalough in Co. Wicklow play host to the only confirmed breeding birds.
Makes Southerly migrations in Winter, arriving from Scandinavia. Found on freshwater. Belfast Lough in County Down and Lough Tay & Dan in County Wicklow are amongst the most regularly used wintering areas.