White-winged Scoter

white-winged scoter
Drake White-winged Scoter’s white primaries contrast with its otherwise all black body, earning this sea duck its namesake.

White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) is the largest scoter species, and are best characterized by living up to their white-winged namesake. Their white primary flight wing feathers starkly contrast with the rest of their jet black bodies. There’s a white eye-ring that is “swooshed up” behind the eye. The males have a black knob at the base of their tri-colored, sloping bill that displays pink, white, yellow, and orange. White-winged Scoter females lack the knob and have brown plumage overall. They do display white on their wings and two patches on the side of the face, one before and one after the eye.