09 May, 2011

Surf Scoter

Scientific Name: Melanitta perspicillata

Population Estimate: 250K - 1.3M

Range / Habitat: Breed throughout Alaska through central Canada to Labrador. Winterfrom the Aleutian Islands down to Baja California on the Pacific coast, and along the Atlantic coast of the USA as far south as South Carolina.

Field Notes: Large, stocky diving duck, all black with no white in wings. Male as above with white patch on forehead and larger white triangle on nape (not seen above). Bill large and swollen with white, red, yellow, and a black patch near base, appearing mainly orange at a distance. White-winged Scoter with white in wings but no white patches on head / neck. Bill largely black with orange tip and males with comma-shaped patch around eyes. Black Scoter all black, no white, large orange knob at base of bill.

Personal Notes: Seen at Finlayson Point, Victoria, BC.

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