Black Scoter Duck
The Black Scoter Duck breeds in the far north of North America in Labrador and Newfoundland to the southeast Hudson Bay. It also occurs on the Siberian side of the Bering Straits east of the Yana River. It winters farther south in temperate zones, on the coasts of the northern USA and Canada, on the Pacific coast south to the San Francisco Bay region and on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, and in Asia as far south as China.
Male – The male Black Scoter duck has an all-black plumage, brown eyes, a black beak with a large yellow bulbous knob on its base, and dark-grey legs and feet.
Female – The female Black Scoter duck has a dark-brown hind-neck and crown extending down to the eye, a pale face, chin, and fore neck, a dark-brown body, and the beak is dark and can sometimes have some yellow around the nostrils.
Size: – Typical Adult is 17-21 inches.
Food: – Mainly molluscs and crustaceans, mussels, small fish, fish eggs, aquatic insects, larvae, seeds, roots, and tubers.
Habitat: – Lakes, rivers, pools in tundra and woodland, wintering along the coast, bays and estuaries. They breed in the far north of North America in Labrador and Newfoundland to the southeast of Hudson Bay, Alaska, and the Bering Straits. It winters further south on the coasts of Canada, northern USA, San Francisco Bay, Great Lakes, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, and in Asia down to China.
Breeding Season: – Begins May to June.
Eggs: – 6 to 8 (Cream or pale buff).
Notes: – The Black Scoter duck or America Scoter is a large sea duck which form large flocks over coastal waters during the winter. Very similar to the Common Scoter, they both belong to the sub genus Oidemia.
The different types of wild ducks can be grouped into puddle, aka “dabbling” and diving ducks. The dabblers mostly feed in smaller bodies of shallow water or along shorelines, where they are able to tip their bodies forward to reach their food on the bottom. There are divers who feed in deeper water where they dive and pursue their quarry. Some of these birds, the Harlequin Duck for example, actually dives to the bottom of fast-flowing waters and feeds on life forms attached to rocks.