The smew (Mergellus albellus) is a sawbill species of duck, and is the only living member of the genus Mergellus. The Smew was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist – but the origin of the name is unknown. It is the smallest of the mergansers. It breeds in the northern taiga of Europe and Asia, nesting in tree holes, such as old woodpecker nests. The taiga is the complex of vast, mainly coniferous forests and wet bogs and marshes that dominates the land south of Eurasia’s bitter tundra zone.
See also: Sawbills