This large, stocky diving duck is 19 to 24
inches long, has a wingspan of about 30 inches,
and weighs between 2 and 4 pounds.
The male is entirely black except for one or
two white patches on the face. He has a large
bill that is patterned with white, red, yellow,
and black patch near the base. His eyes are pale
blue-gray or yellowish white, and his feet are
reddish orange with dusky webs. The female is a
duller black and has less distinct face patches.
Her bill is green-black with an indistinct black
patch surrounded by gray at the base of the upper
bill. She has pale brown eyes, and yellow to
brownish red feet with dull black webs.
Surf scoters breed on freshwater lakes in
Alaska and northern Canada, and winter in shallow
marine coastal waters along the Pacific and
Atlantic coasts of North America.
The nest is a hollow on the ground, near
water, lined with vegetative debris and down,
into which 6 to 9 creamy white eggs are laid.
Mothers provide very little care for their
young, and accidental exchanges of young among
surf scoter broods are frequent on crowded lakes.
Surf scoters feed primarily on freshwater
invertebrates, especially mollusks, found on or
near the bottom of shallow waters.
Habits and Behaviors
During the breeding season the male will
defend a moving area around the female.
genus & species Melanitta perspicillata
All About Birds http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Surf_Scoter/id
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