Black Scoter Melanitta americana



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Adult male

Medium-sized sea duck with a fairly small, straight bill. All black except for yellow knob at base of bill.


Medium-sized sea duck with a fairly small, straight bill. Brownish overall with pale face and neatly delineated dark cap.

Adult male and female

Medium-sized sea duck with a straight, thin bill. In flight, wings are all dark. Breeding males have yellow knob on bill; females have pale cheeks with neat, dark cap.

Immature male

Brownish sea duck with dark-capped head pattern reminiscent of female but yellowish knob at base of bill like adult male.


Medium-sized brownish sea duck with a small, straight bill. Distinctive face pattern: pale cheeks and sharply defined dark cap.

Adult male and female with Surf Scoter

May occur in flocks with other scoter species. Bill considerably smaller and straighter than Surf Scoter's (second from left).


Found mainly in saltwater along rocky coastlines.

Recommended Citation

Black Scoter (Melanitta americana), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: