Found in Europe and Southeast Asia
Smews, with their brilliant white feathers and black outlining, look like they just stepped out of a winter fairytale; they are especially striking while in flight. Females have brown heads and body coloring, and both sexes have fluffy crests.
They’re found along rivers and lakes throughout Europe, often alone or gathered in small groups, dining on fish found in the waterways. They like to stick close to trees, where they breed around May each year. These elegant birds can rarely be seen wintering in Alaska or even as far off as the West Coast — so count yourself extremely lucky if you spot them in the United States.
Fun fact: Smews are the only living members of the Mergellus genus of the duck family.