- ORDER: Anseriformes
- FAMILY: Anatidae
Easily outsizing other scoter species in winter flocks on coastal waters, the White-winged Scoter is a large sea duck with a heavy, sloping bill and bold white patches in the wing. Males are velvety black with a dashing, upturned comma of white around the eye and an orange-tipped bill. In winter these birds eat mussels, holding their breath for a minute or more, deep underwater, while they wrestle the shellfish free from rocks. They breed around lakes of the far north, where their diet changes to crustaceans and insects.More ID Info
Find This Bird
In winter along Atlantic and Pacific coasts, scan for White-winged Scoters in large mixed flocks of sea ducks, especially by rocky shorelines or over sandbars. White-winged Scoters are usually the scarcest of the three scoter species in North America, but scanning through such flocks will usually turn up a larger bird with telltale white patches on the inner wing (very noticeable in flight and often partly visible on resting birds). During migration, after heavy storms, or when the Great Lakes have frozen over, they often show up on inland lakes.
- Negrón Aliblanco (Spanish)
- Macreuse à ailes blanches (French)