White-winged Scoter


White-winged Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Adult male of the American race deglandi
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Merginae
Genus: Melanitta
Species: M. deglandi
Binomial name
Melanitta deglandi
(Bonaparte, 1850)
Subspecies

(Asian White-winged Scoter)

  • M. d. deglandi (Bonaparte, 1850)

(American White-winged Scoter)

Synonyms

Melanitta fusca deglandi, Melanitta fusca stejnegeri

The White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) is a large sea duck.

Contents

Description

It is characterised by its bulky shape and large bill. This is the largest species of scoter. Females range from 950-1950 grams (2.1-4.2 lb) and 48–56 cm (19-22 inches), averaging 1180 grams (2.6 lb) and 52.3 cm (21 inches). She is brown with pale head patches. The male ranges from 1360-2128 grams (3-4.7 lb) and from 53–60 cm (21-24 inches), averaging 1380 grams (3.6 lb) and 55 cm (22 inches). He is all black, except for white around the eye and a white speculum. This scoter's bill has a black base and a large knob.

There are a number of differing characteristic of the Eastern Siberian race and the American race from Alaska and Canada to west of the Hudson Bay. Males of the American subspecies have browner flanks, dark yellow coloration of most of the bill and a less tall bill knob, approaching the Velvet Scoter. The Asian form has a very tall knob at the base of its mostly orange-yellow bill. Females are identical in the field.

The White-winged Scoter was named for French zoologist Dr. Côme-Damien Degland (1787-1856).

Taxonomy

It was formerly considered to be conspecific with the Velvet Scoter. These two species, and the Surf Scoter, are placed in the subgenus Melanitta, distinct from the subgenus Oidemia, Black and Common Scoters.

Distribution

The White-winged Scoter breeds over the far north of Asia east of the Yenisey Basin, and North America. It winters further south in temperate zones, on the Great Lakes, the coasts of the northern USA and the southern coasts of Canada, and Asia as far south as China. It forms large flocks on suitable coastal waters. These are tightly packed, and the birds tend to take off together.

Behaviour

Breeding

The lined nest is built on the ground close to the sea, lakes or rivers, in woodland or tundra. 5-11 eggs are laid. The pinkish eggs average 46.9 mm (1.8 inches) in breadth, 68.2 mm (2.7 inches) in length and 82.4 grams (2.9 oz) in weight. The incubation period can range from 25 to 30 days. After about 21 days, neighboring females may start to behave aggressively towards other nesting females, resulting in confusion and mixing of broods. By the time she is done brooding, a female may be tending to as much as 40 offspring due to the mixing from these conflicts. The female will tend to her brood for up to 3 weeks and then abandon them, but the young will usually stay together from another 3 weeks. Flight capacity is thought to be gained at 63 to 77 days of age.

Food

In freshwater, this species primarily feeds on crustaceans and insects; while in saltwater areas, it feeds on molluscs and crustaceans. The favorite foods of the American (sub)species are an amphipod (Hyalella azteca) in freshwater, and rock clams (Protothaca staminea), Atlantic razors (Siliqua spp.) and Arctic wedge clams (Mesodesma arctatus).


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • white-winged scoter — noun also white winged coot : a large and very common American scoter (Melanitta deglandi) that is closely related to the velvet scoter of Europe and has a white speculum of the wing and in the adult male a white spot under the eye * * * a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • white-winged scoter — paprastoji nuodėgulė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Melanitta fusca angl. white winged scoter vok. Samtente, f rus. турпан, m pranc. macreuse brune, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – nuodėgulės sinonimas – nuodėgulė …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • white-winged scoter — a blackish North American duck, Melanitta deglandi, having a white patch on each wing. [1890 95, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • white-winged coot — Scoter Sco ter, n. [Cf. Prov. E. scote to plow up.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of northern sea ducks of the genus {Oidemia}. [1913 Webster] Note: The European scoters are {Oidemia nigra}, called also {black duck}, {black diver}, {surf… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • White-winged — may refer to:In ornithology:* White winged Chough, one of only two surviving members of the Australian mud nest builders family, Corcoracidae * White winged Dove, dove whose native range extends from the south western USA through Mexico and the… …   Wikipedia

  • white-winged coot — noun see white winged scoter …   Useful english dictionary

  • Scoter — Sco ter, n. [Cf. Prov. E. scote to plow up.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of northern sea ducks of the genus {Oidemia}. [1913 Webster] Note: The European scoters are {Oidemia nigra}, called also {black duck}, {black diver}, {surf duck};… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • white-wing — Scoter Sco ter, n. [Cf. Prov. E. scote to plow up.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of northern sea ducks of the genus {Oidemia}. [1913 Webster] Note: The European scoters are {Oidemia nigra}, called also {black duck}, {black diver}, {surf… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • white-wingedscoter — white winged scoter n. A large, black North American diving duck (Melanitta deglandi) having a patch of white on each wing. * * * …   Universalium

  • Scoter — For U.S. Navy ships named Scoter, see USS Scoter. Scoters Adult male White winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia