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Surf Scoter
Melanitta perspicillata

The Surf Scoter dives for mollusks and crustaceans in water over tidal flats and in deeper areas. It rests and feeds in estuaries, protected harbors, and channels. A number of Surf Scoters spend winter near the San Juan Islands and on southern Puget Sound in Budd and Eld inlets.

 
 

Black Scoter
Melanitta nigra

Black Scoters also dive for mollusks and crustaceans. Black Scoters can be found from Wing to Yeomalt Points near Bainbridge Island.

 

White-winged Scoter
Melanitta fusca

Like the other scoters, White-winged Scoters, dive for shellfish and pull them off rocks with their strong bills. White-winged Scoters can be found in Skagit and Padilla Bays, Penn Cove on Whidbey Island, Discovery Bay, and Dungeness National Wildlife refuge.

 

Scoter Survival Is Down

Since 1979, the number of scoters spending winter on Puget Sound has dropped by 50% or more. Scientists speculate that contaminated shellfish may be causing the decline.

 

Related Links

Surf Scoter, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
Surf Scoter identification and animated range map.

Black Scoter, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
Black Scoter identification and animated range map.

White-winged Scoter, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. White-winged Scoter identification and animated range map. 

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