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Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)

Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)

Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)

Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra) Male

Class: Aves
Family: Anatidae
Common Name: Black Scoter
Genus: Melanitta
Species Name: americana

About The Black Scoter

A coastal duck that breeds in the subarctic, the Black Scoter is not well studied in North America. Only a few nests have ever been found. The Black Scoter is divided into two subspecies. In the form found in Europe, the "Common Scoter," the male has a larger swollen knob at the base of the upper bill that is black on the sides with a yellow stripe on top, not entirely yellow. The Black Scoter occasionally does a "Wing-flap" display while swimming, flapping its wings with its body held up out of the water. Unlike other scoters, it almost always punctuates a Wing-flap with a characteristic downward thrust of head, as if its neck were momentarily broken. Surf and White-winged scoters keep their heads and bills pointing more or less above the horizontal throughout a Wing-flap. The Black Scoter is among the most vocal of waterfowl. Groups of Black Scoters often can be located by the constant mellow, plaintive whistling sound of the males.

Bibliographic Citation: "Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)." The Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds. Citation Link Accessed 28 Jan 2014.

Trips Where Observed

San Francisco 2007
Uganda and stops between

Member Lifelists

New Jersey
North America
San Francisco
United States

Sites Where Observed


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