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This merganser, in all likelihood a Common, was found on 2 Nov 2002 at Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley National Park.  The bill structure (thick at the base, nostrils 1/3 out from the base) fits Common ok, but many observers thought the fuzzy throat demarcation and shaggy, elongated crest was more like Red-breasted.  It's been suggested that this is a male Common Merganser molting out of eclipse plumage, a plumage usually only seen far to the north of Inyo County...making this a very interesting merganser!