Black Scoter: Medium diving duck, entirely black except for yellow knob at base of black bill. Legs and feet are black. The male is the only all black duck in North America. Dives for food, primarily eats mollusks. Strong direct flight with rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line and V formation.
Range and Habitat
Black Scoter: Breeds in western Alaska, Labrador, and Newfoundland. Spends winters along coasts from Alaska south to California, from Newfoundland south to the Carolinas, along portions of the Gulf coast, and on the Great Lakes. Breeding habitats include ponds in boreal forests; spends winters on oceans and in large saltwater bays.
Birds occasionally do a "wing-flap" display while swimming, flapping their wings with the body held up and punctuating this with a downward thrust of head, as if its neck were momentarily broken.
Black Scoter are among the most vocal of waterfowl. Groups can often be located by the constant mellow, plaintive whistling sound of the males.
It takes off from water more abruptly than most other "diving ducks," a feature which is helpful in field identification.
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.