Black Scoter

Important Notice:

Flyways.us will be shutting down on November 30. However, most of the content found here will now be available on the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program website.

Melanitta nigra

The Black Scoter drake appears all black in flight except for an orange (or bright yellow) knob at the base of its bill and the flash of a slight gray underwing. The hen is mottled brown with a dark cap and pale cheeks. This sea duck can be found in the coastal waters of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast.

Length: 19 1/2"
Weight: 2 1/2 lbs.

illustration of black scoter hen and drake

Scoters feed on mollusks, crabs, and some fish and very little vegetation. They are locally known as "coots."

Black Scoter