If merganserling isn’t a word, it should be: the chick of a merganser, as in duckling and gosling.
Sources differ as to the number of eggs laid by a Common Merganser, but when it comes to merganserlings that survive to follow mommy around the Lake, I usually see between four and twelve.
Yet, sometimes the number of mergaserlings is huge. I have seen nineteen, twenty-three, and yesterday, thirty-three. These cannot possibly be a single family.
It seems that merganserlings are born followers. They will leave their own mother just to join a passing parade. Who knows if they ever find their way back to their own mother or not.
A family of Common Mergansers seen a week ago has a typical number of five merganserlings. Apart from their size, the chicks can be identified by the white bar just below the eye.
Seen yesterday was a parade of thirty-three merganserlings along with one nursemaid.