NC Upland Game Bird Hunting Call Us Toll Free at 866-614-7281! Hunt North Carolina at Huckleberry Ridge Hunting Preserve NC Whitetail Deer Hunting NC Wild Duck Hunting NC Eastern Wild Turkey Hunting


Trail Rides


NC Wildlife

For Sale

North Carolina Wildlife Species Information

Black Scoter -  Melanitta nigra

Black Scoter Melanitta nigra

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 14 inches Wingspan: 33 inches
  • Medium-sized diving duck
  • Dark bill
  • Rounded head
  • Paler undersides of flight feathers contrasting with darker wing linings

Adult male:

  • Entirely black plumage
  • Bright orange patch at base of bill
  • Immature male similar to female but has yellow patch at base of bill

Adult female:

  • Dark crown and rear of head contrasting with paler face
  • Very dark plumage
  • Immature females somewhat paler

Similar species:

With its black plumage and bright orange base to the bill the male Black Scoter is unlikely to be confused with any other duck. The orange patch on the bill is visible from considerable distances, even in flight. The dark brown plumage of females and immatures is similar to that found in other female scoters. Note that the Black Scoter has a rounder head and lacks white patches on the face instead having a pale face contrasting with a dark crown. In flight, note the paler undersides to the flight feathers contrasting with the dark wing linings. The round head and dark plumage of the female Black Scoter is somewhat reminiscent of the American Black Duck but the bill of the black duck is greenish, not black.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.

Above information used courtesy of United States Geological Survey.

Huckleberry Ridge Hunting Preserve Logo

Copyright 2010 Huckleberry Ridge Hunting Preserveducks All Rights Reservedducks Web site by Pungo Ridge Designs