Baking: White-winged Scoter

 

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Melanitta fusca

Length: 18-22 Weight: 2-4 lbs

Identification:

Male is all black with a white wing patch and white “comma” behind eye. Female is dark brown with white oval behind bill (compare to more vertical white patch on Surf Scoter).

WWSC

Distribution: 

Breed in Alaska and northern Canada. Winter along the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts, and sometimes the Great Lakes.

Cool Facts:

White-winged Scoters are becoming increasingly common on the Great Lakes, possibly due to the invasive Zebra Mussel, which provides an abundant food source.

The European subspecies, Velvet Scoter, has a very different bill morphology and coloration from the American subspecies, and the two are sometimes considered separate species.

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References:

All About Birds

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