Stejneger’s Scoter

Melanitta stejnegeri

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

STSC

Code 6

MELSTE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Stejneger’s Scoter has a range of 8,320,000 square kilometers across Siberia east to Kamchatka, Japan, Korea, and China, and south to Mongolia. Recent studies estimate the global population to be between 600,000 and 1 million birds, with 400,000 to 700,000 mature individuals. This species faces many threats including the effects of climate change on habitats, depletion of food sources due to human overfishing, oil spills and other industrial accidents, and being caught in fishing nets. Despite these and other threats, and an apparent declining population trend, the IUCN rates the Stejneger’s Scoter as Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Stejneger’s Scoter: Large sea duck that occurs as occasional vagrant to Alaska. Male is all-black with a slight glossiness, large white wing patches, white or very pale gray eyes, a distinctive white mark under the eye; the bill is uniquely shaped with red, yellow, and orange markings, and a large black basal knob; legs and feet are dusky, dark pink. Female is medium brown, with large white wing patches, and variable amounts of white and gray on the cheeks and between the eyes; bill is dark olive-brown and lacks the basal knob; eyes are dark brown to black; legs and feet are dark, dusky red-gray. Immature is similar to female but has a paler breast and more white on the face. Feeds primarily on molluscs, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.


Range and Habitat

Stejneger’s Scoter: Native to northeastern Eurasia, breeding in Siberia to Kamchatka, and south into Mongolia; wintering grounds include coastal Kamchatka, Japan, Korea, and China. It is a rare vagrant in far western Alaska, particularly the islands in the Bering Sea, with sightings every few years.

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Stejneger’s Scoter SONGS AND CALLS

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"aah-er", "kraa-ah, kraa-ah, kraa"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Because of Stejneger's work, famous ornithologist Robert Ridgway added the Kamtschatkan Scoter, Oidemia stejnegeri, to his 1887 "A Manual of North American Birds."
  • In 2019, the American Ornithological Society promoted the Stejneger’s Scoter to full species status when it split the White-winged Scoter three ways.
  • In Leonhard Stejneger's 1885 work, "Results of Ornithological Explorations in the Commander Islands and in Kamtschatka," he described two birds collected on Bering Island in 1884 that had characteristics not found in either the White-winged Scoter (O. deglandi) or Velvet Scoter (O. fusca).

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X