Stejneger’s Scoter

Melanitta stejnegeri




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Buff or yellowish white.

Number of Eggs:

6 - 9

Incubation Days:

27 - 30

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground

Nest Material:

Lined with sticks, leaves, and down.





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.

Breeding and Nesting

Stejneger's Scoter: Breeding and nesting behaviors are poorly known. 6-9 buffy- or yellowish-white eggs are laid in a shallow depression lined with plant matter and down, hidden in vegetation, and usually near water. Incubation lasts about one month and is carried out exclusively by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Stejneger’s Scoter: More study is needed; consists of molluscs, crustaceans, worms, echinoderms, small fish, and insects. Forages by diving.


Stejneger's Scoter: Usually silent. Male whistle is a "fee-er" Female emits a croaking "kraa-ah, kraa-ah, kraa".

Similar Species

Stejneger’s Scoter: White-winged Scoter male has a more curved forehead, smaller bill knob, different bill pattern and brown flanks; Velvet Scoter has a shorter eye patch, lacks red on its bill and has a barely discernible bill knob.

The upper front part of a bird.
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