Anishinaabe Word of The Day

Merganser (anzig)

The common merganser (North American) or goosander (Eurasian) (Mergus merganser) is a large sea duck of rivers and lakes in forested areas of Europe, Asia, and North America. The common merganser eats mainly fish. It nests in holes in trees.


The first formal description of the common merganser was by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae. He introduced the current binomial name Mergus merganser.[2] The genus name is a Latin word used by Pliny and other Roman authors to refer to an unspecified waterbird, and merganser is derived from mergus and anser, Latin for “goose”.[3] In 1843 John James Audubon used the name “Buff-breasted Merganser” in addition to “goosander” in his book The Birds of America.[4]

The three subspecies differ in only minor detail:[5][6]


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Anishinaabe Stories or Other Interesting Facts!

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Ducks most often appear in Native American legends as gullible, foolish creatures that are often taken advantage of by trickster animals like Coyote or Fox. However, in some Eastern Algonquian legends the Merganser Duck plays the role of Earthdiver, being the only animal to succeed at diving to the ocean floor to bring up earth for the Creator or other animals to make land with.

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Related Words

Anzig nitaa-noojigiigoowensiwe.
The merganser is a good fisher for minnows.