The Scaly-sided Merganser is one of the world's most beautiful ducks, yet it is also among the rarest. The species, which is classified as Endangered, has a very small population, which is suspected to be undergoing a continuing and rapid decline as a result of habitat loss, illegal hunting and disturbance.
Happily, there are more of these beautiful sawbills doing well in aviculture. Some breeders report that they are actually less tricky to raise than the Red-breasted Merganser.
Birdguides recently reported that a nest box programme has proven to be an efficient way of increasing the productivity of the mergansers. A scheme for the species has been running in the Russian Far East since 2000. Read about it here.