Sunday, 1 January 2017

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)

OTHER NAMES: Skunk-headed Coot
Latin Etymology: Melanitta ("black duck") perspicillata ("conspicuous")

First Winter Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) at Rutland Water, Rutland - December 2016

Weight: 950-1700g
Length: 44-48cm
Wingspan: 77cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A large sea-duck species found breeding around the coasts of Canada and Alaska, they breed on freshwater lakes.  This bird was a vagrant that had turned up along the dam end of Rutland Water where it was associated with a group of mostly male tufted ducks.  This bird is apparently a first winter bird, though as with the most duck species the adult male is a far more dramatic bird with a bizarre oversized beak coloured white, yellow red, pink with a huge black blotch.

Related Species: 
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Melanitta
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare vagrant.
 - A single vagrant bird seen at Rutland Water (December 2016) 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-Canto

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