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Sep 05 2014

Sarah’s Birds: Black Scooter

 

By Sarah Harper Díaz for Island Eye News

This male black scooter was photographed on Sullivan’s Island this June. (Photo by Sarah Harper Diaz)

This male black scooter was photographed on Sullivan’s Island this June.
(Photo by Sarah Harper Diaz)

The black scooter is a sea duck which can be found on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coasts during the non-breeding season. Adult males are solid black with a bright yellow knob on the beak. Females are a dark brown with pale cheeks and neck.

Relatively little is known about this species. They feed mostly on mollusks and some crustaceans by diving and foraging under water. The breeding range is not well known, but most certainly includes Quebec and Alaska. Nests are built on the ground close to a lake or large pond. Females lay 8 or 9 eggs and incubate them for almost a month. The young, like all ducks, hatch out covered in down and are soon able to walk to a water source and swim on their own. They can feed themselves but are still guarded by the female for two or three weeks, after which they must fend for themselves.

 

 

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