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White-winged Scoter

From Opus

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====Notes on distinguishing males of the subspecies==== ====Notes on distinguishing males of the subspecies====
*''deglandi'': clear knob at the base of the bill, with the yellow-orange part relatively short, so that the eye looks set further back on head than ''fusca''. The white around the eye is shaped as a checkmark, pointed up at the rear end. The colored part of the bill is orange with the top parts looking yellow. The crown is highest in front of the eye. When seen well, flanks will be brown in contrast to black back and breast. *''deglandi'': clear knob at the base of the bill, with the yellow-orange part relatively short, so that the eye looks set further back on head than ''fusca''. The white around the eye is shaped as a checkmark, pointed up at the rear end. The colored part of the bill is orange with the top parts looking yellow. The crown is highest in front of the eye. When seen well, flanks will be brown in contrast to black back and breast.
-[[Image:Velvet_Scoter_by_jtwood.jpg|thumb|450px|right|Male White-winged Scoter (European)<br />Photo by {{user|jtwood|jtwood}}<br />Location: Musselburgh, [[Scotland]], [[UK]], 2010]]+[[Image:Velvet_Scoter_Flight_by_jtwood.jpg|thumb|450px|right|Male White-winged Scoter (European) in flight<br />Photo by {{user|jtwood|jtwood}}<br />Location: East Lothian, [[Scotland]], [[UK]], January 2008]]
*''stejnegeri'': Head shape closer to eider in shape, with a long, sloping forehead. White around eye similar to or longer than ''deglandi''. It has a clear knob on the bill, further forward than ''deglandi'', and the colored parts are mostly red with yellow "lipstick" below. Flanks are black. *''stejnegeri'': Head shape closer to eider in shape, with a long, sloping forehead. White around eye similar to or longer than ''deglandi''. It has a clear knob on the bill, further forward than ''deglandi'', and the colored parts are mostly red with yellow "lipstick" below. Flanks are black.
*''fusca'': the least knob on the bill, and the least white around and behind the eye; almost no white above the eye. The colored section of the bill is yellow and relatively long and the distance from the base of that to the eye is short, producing the impression that the eye is positioned relatively far forward on the head. The crown looks highest above the eye. *''fusca'': the least knob on the bill, and the least white around and behind the eye; almost no white above the eye. The colored section of the bill is yellow and relatively long and the distance from the base of that to the eye is short, producing the impression that the eye is positioned relatively far forward on the head. The crown looks highest above the eye.

Revision as of 01:14, 3 February 2010

Male White-winged Scoter (American)Photo by digitalbirderLocation: White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
Male White-winged Scoter (American)
Photo by digitalbirder
Location: White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
Melanitta fusca

Includes Velvet Scoter

Contents

Identification

51-58cm. Black, white 'tear drop' just behind the eye, yellow long bill, thick neck and pointed tail. In flight, it shows a white patch on the rear of the wing.

Notes on distinguishing males of the subspecies

  • deglandi: clear knob at the base of the bill, with the yellow-orange part relatively short, so that the eye looks set further back on head than fusca. The white around the eye is shaped as a checkmark, pointed up at the rear end. The colored part of the bill is orange with the top parts looking yellow. The crown is highest in front of the eye. When seen well, flanks will be brown in contrast to black back and breast.
Male White-winged Scoter (European) in flightPhoto by jtwoodLocation: East Lothian, Scotland, UK, January 2008
Male White-winged Scoter (European) in flight
Photo by jtwood
Location: East Lothian, Scotland, UK, January 2008
  • stejnegeri: Head shape closer to eider in shape, with a long, sloping forehead. White around eye similar to or longer than deglandi. It has a clear knob on the bill, further forward than deglandi, and the colored parts are mostly red with yellow "lipstick" below. Flanks are black.
  • fusca: the least knob on the bill, and the least white around and behind the eye; almost no white above the eye. The colored section of the bill is yellow and relatively long and the distance from the base of that to the eye is short, producing the impression that the eye is positioned relatively far forward on the head. The crown looks highest above the eye.

Distribution

Breeds in northern areas around the globe, such as Scandinavia (especially Sweden and Norway), northern Asia, and northern North America.

Migrates in winter to areas that have coastal open water, for example in Europe will be found from Norway to Spain and east to the Caspian Sea.

Taxonomy

Female "Velvet Scoter", Eurasian fusca Photo by GwynnLocation: Austria
Female "Velvet Scoter", Eurasian fusca
Photo by Gwynn
Location: Austria

Three subspecies are currently recognized:

  • deglandi (White-winged Scoter) occurs in North America and includes dixoni which is no longer recognized.
  • stejnegeri is found in Estern Asia. This form is also sometimes proposed for recognition as a full species, Asian White-winged or Stejneger's Scoter.
  • fusca is found in Europe and western Asia, .

The subspecies deglandi has in the past and is increasingly again recognized as a full species (for example by the British BOURC), which would keep the name of White-winged Scoter; subspecies fusca would then become Velvet Scoter. Subspecies stejnegeri would be a subspecies of M. deglandi if BOURC is followed, but has also sometimes been considered a full species. Opus follows the developments in the worldwide checklists.

Habitat

Lakes, coastal waters, estuaries.

Behaviour

The diet includes shellfish, crabs, sea urchins, fish, insect larvae and plants.

It builds a lined nest on the ground close to the sea, lakes or rivers, in woodland or tundra. 7-9 eggs are laid.

Bird Song


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References

  1. Clements, James F. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2007. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801445019
  2. DUDLEY et al. 2006. The British List: A Checklist of Birds of Britain (7th edition). Ibis 148:526–563 with online updates to 2009
  3. R Strack 2010. Fløjlsænder. Fugle i Felten, #1, January 2010, pg 6-7. (in Danish)

External Links

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