White-winged Scoter

Melanitta deglandi




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light brown, light pink or creamy buff

Number of Eggs:

5 - 17

Incubation Days:

25 - 31

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with sticks, leaves, and down.





White-winged Scoter: Medium-sized sea duck, mostly black except for white eye patches and large white wing patches. Bill is orange with large black basal knob. Female is dark brown with white patches in front of and behind eyes, and dark gray bill with small basal knob.

Range and Habitat

White-winged Scoter: Breeds in Alaska and much of northern and central Canada. Spends winters along the coasts, from Alaska south to California and from Newfoundland south to the Carolinas, but rarely to Florida and Texas. Breeds on large lakes and winters mainly on the ocean and on large coastal bays.

Breeding and Nesting

White-winged Scoter: Five to seventeen light brown, light pink, or creamy buff eggs are laid in a ground hollow lined with sticks and down, usually built under a bush or in a crevice near water. Incubation ranges from 25 to 31 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

White-winged Scoter: Feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, aquatic insects, and small fish found in marine and freshwater habitats; summer diet includes pondweeds and bur reeds in inland areas. Usually forages by diving under water.


White-winged Scoter: Emits soft whistles and guttural croaks.

Similar Species

White-winged Scoter: Surf Scoter lacks white wing patches, the male has white forehead and patch on back of neck, the female has two white patches on sides of face. Black Scoter also lacks white wing patches, the male has a solid black head and the female has pale brown-gray cheeks, chin, throat, and sides of neck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X