Black Scoter

Melanitta americana

A winter resident, this species is regularly seen into late May with smaller numbers seen sporadically into mid-June. The largest numbers are last seen on approximately June 5th, with the latest spring count of double digit birds being 10 on 10 June 2012 with records in only eight years from the end of June through early August. Most of those records involved lingering birds from the spring, while summer arrivals have been noted on four occasions. The earliest fall arrivals are normally located at the very end of August or early September, with small numbers typically not appearing until after September 10th and larger numbers arriving by late September or early October. Winter populations remain throughout the season when open water allows and reach their peak in late winter or early spring. Peak counts of this species rarely exceed those of White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca), which is overall more regular and found in larger numbers.

Photo by Stephan Lorenz