: A Fascinating Sea Duck
The black scoter (Melanitta nigra) is a striking sea duck that belongs to the Anatidae family. This bird has a distinctive appearance with its jet-black plumage and bright orange-yellow knob at the base of its bill. In this blog post, we will take an in-depth look at the black scoter’s physical features, behavior, habitat, food preferences, and some cool facts about it.
The adult male black scoter measures around 19-22 inches in length and weighs approximately 1.5 pounds. The female is slightly smaller than the male and has duller plumage compared to males’. Black Scoters have round heads with short bills that are hooked at the tip. They also have plump bodies and short wings which make them excellent divers but poor fliers.
Where To Find This Bird
Breeding populations of black scoters are found across Canada’s Arctic tundra regions while wintering birds can be seen across North America’s coastal waters along both coasts from Alaska to New England southward through California Gulf Coast States.
Black Scoters breed primarily on Arctic wetlands near freshwater sources where they build their nests on dry ground or floating vegetation mats.
Black Scoters feed mainly on mollusks like clams, mussels crustaceans such as crabs shrimp by diving up to 100 feet below water their hunting grounds.
Did you know that Black Scoters develop an immunity for toxic mussels? These ducks contain high levels of PSP toxins due to consuming algae containing saxitoxin; however these alkaloids do not affect them as much as other organisms because they metabolize it more efficiently.
Overall, if you enjoy watching sea ducks then keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful creatures during migration seasons when they come southwards from breeding areas in search of food!