Surf Scoter
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Melanitta
Species: Melanitta perspicillata

The Surf Scoter, melanitta perspicillata, is a large duck frequently found on the Pacific Coast around fishing piers and harbors.

Feeding and Diet Edit

Forages by diving and swimming underwater, propelled mainly by the feet, with the wings usually half-opened.

Mostly mollusks. In addition to mollusks, also feeds on crustaceans, aquatic insects, small fishes, echinoderms, marine worms. Also eats some plant material, mainly pondweeds and sedges. Young eat mostly aquatic insects at first, also mollusks and some plant material, including sedges, pondweeds, and crowberries.

Nesting and their Young Edit

Pairs are formed on winter range. Several males may surround one female in courtship. Displays of male include swimming back and forth rapidly with neck stretched upward, exaggerated bowing, short display flights; males may pursue female underwater. Nest site is often some distance away from water, on ground, well hidden under low tree branches or in dense grass clump. Nest (built by female) is a shallow depression lined with down.

5-9 eggs, usually about 7. Pale buff. Incubation is by female only, incubation period not known. Young generally leave hte nest and go to water shortly after hatching. Young are tended by female, but feed themselves. Age of young at first flight not well known.

Conservation Edit

The Surf Scoter's numbers greatly dipped in the early 20th century, but is now only Least concern on the ICUN.