Smew male is unmistakable – entirely white with sparse black lines. The female resembles a small female Goldeneye with her grey body, white wing panel and reddish brown head, but the large and conspicuous pale cheek patch is distinctive. This pattern may cause confusion with Slavonian Grebe or Ruddy Duck but the Smew is bigger headed and thicker necked than the Grebe and lacks the horizontal face stripe of a female Ruddy duck or the black crown of an eclipse male.

Breeds in trees beside lakes. Winters on lakes, reservoirs and estuaries.

Smew migrate from their main breeding grounds in Finland and Russia, to inland and coastal regions of Turkey, mainly around southern parts of the Baltic and North Seas, as well as the Black and Caspian Seas.

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