White-winged Scoter Life History


Habitat Lakes and PondsBreeds on large freshwater or brackish lakes and ponds. Winters in coastal estuaries, bays, and open coastline with shallow water over shellfish beds.Back to top


Food Aquatic invertebratesMollusks (especially clams and mussels), crustaceans, and insects; occasionally aquatic plants and fish.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

Hollow in ground in dense cover away from water, lined with down and twigs.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:6-16 eggs
Egg Description:Creamy buff or light pink.
Condition at Hatching:Downy and eyes open. Leave nest soon after they dry. Feed themselves immediately.
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Behavior Surface DiveDives for prey on or near bottom.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernWhite-winged Scoter is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Though the species is common, populations may be declining.Back to top


Brown, Patrick W. and Leigh H. Fredrickson. (1997). White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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