The Black Scoter is a sea duck with a stocky build and mostly dark plumage.
- Black plumage.
Brownish plumage with a paler lower face and throat.
Seasonal change in appearanceNone.
JuvenileSimilar to adult females.
DietMollusks and insects.
BehaviorForages by diving.
RangeBreeds in Alaska and northeastern Canada and winters along both coasts of North America. Population generally stable.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Black Scoter.
The shape of a bird's wing is often an indication of its habits and behavior. Fast flying birds have long, pointed wings. Soaring birds have long, broad wings. Different songbirds will have a slightly different wing shape. Some species look so much alike (Empidonax flycatchers) that scientists sometimes use the length of specific feathers to confirm a species' identification.
Wing images from the University of Puget Sound, Slater Museum of Natural History
Black Scoters are rare visitors to large inland lakes during the winter.
While usually seen in pairs during the breeding season, scoters often form small flocks during the winter.
VocalizationsMales make a long whistling sound.
The nest is plant-lined depression on the ground.
Color: White or buff.
Incubation and fledging:
- Young hatch at 27-31 days.
- Young fledge (leave the nest) soon after hatching but remain with the female for some time.