- 18.9–23.6 in
- 30.3 in
- 33.6–62.4 oz
- Macreuse à front blanc (French)
- Negreta nuca blanco (Spanish)
- The Surf Scoter breeds on freshwater lakes, where the male defends a moving area around the female. The female with a brood is not territorial.
- Accidental exchanges of young among Surf Scoter broods are frequent on crowded lakes. Because the mother provides no parental care other than guarding the chicks, evolutionary selection to prevent such mixups may not be very strong.
- Nonbreeding Surf Scoters (mainly immatures) do not necessarily go to the breeding grounds in summer. Instead they spend the summer primarily along marine coasts southward to Baja California and New Jersey, where they frequent bays and estuaries.
Breeds on shallow lakes in boreal forest and tundra. Winters in shallow marine coastal waters, usually over pebble and sand bottom.
Freshwater invertebrates, especially mollusks.
- Clutch Size
- 6–9 eggs
- Egg Description
- Creamy white.
- Condition at Hatching
- Downy and eyes open. Leave nest soon after they dry. Feed themselves immediately.
Hollow in ground near water, lined with vegetative debris and down.
Dives for prey on or near bottom.
Common. Populations may be declining.
- Bellrose, F. C. 1976. Ducks, Geese, and Swans of North America. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA.
- Savard, J.-P. L., D. Bordage, and A. Reed. 1998. Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata). In The Birds of North America, No. 363 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.