There are three kinds of Scoters seen on LI. Scoters are often seen flying in thin line formations low over water.
White Winged Scoter
- Heavy black duck
- White wing patch seen in flight, often concealed when swimming
- Male has white "teardrop" below eye
- Bill orange with black knob at base
- Female sooty with two white patches on each side of face.
- Entirely black plumage
- Bright orange/yellow knob on bill (nicknamed "butternose")
- In flight underwing shows two-toned effect
- Female sooty in color, light cheeks contrast with dark head
- All black plumage, except for two white spots on head (nicknamed "Skunkhead")
- Bill patterned with orange, black & white
- Female light brown with two pale white patches on face
|Long Tailed Duck
- Formerly called "Oldsquaw"
- Only Sea Duck to combine a lot of white on the body with unpatterned dark wings. Striking black & white plumage.
- Male is actually less striking in color when in breeding color; dark head, dark chest & back, white sides with white cheek patch. In non-breeding color almost all white with black cheek patch.
- Needle-like, long tail gives duck it's name.
- Pinkish bill color
- Female lacks pink bill and has less white in winter colors.
There are two types of Eiders seen on LI.
- Large Sea Duck, bulky & thick-necked
- Only duck in our area with black belly and white back
- Head white with black crown, greenish nape
- Long flat head profile, yellow bill color extending to base of eye
- Female rich brown or gray/brown, closely barred with same head profile
- Stocky, smaller than Common Eider
- On water foreparts appear white, rear parts appear black
- Large white wing patch
- Orange bill and large orange bill shield, appearing to be knob-like on forehead.
- Thin white line running thru eye and down side of head
- Female golden brown in color, gray bill, no bill shield.
- Strikingly patterned, bold colors
- Male slaty gray in color with chestnut sides, white facial crescent, patches & spots
- White ring around neck and white wing stripe
- In flight appears uniformly dark
- Female dusky brown with three round white spots on each side of head, no wing patch.
photo copyright Harold Lindstrom
photo copyright Chuck Gordon
photo copyright Bates Littlehales
photo copyright Tom Vezo
photo copyright Betty Randall
Photo by James Galletto
Photo by James Galletto
|Photo by Bob Levine|
|Sea Ducks: Basic Characteristics
- Sits low in water, with tail in water
- Dives to 200' or more
- Opens wings under water
- Feet at back of body, has difficulty walking on land
- Hind toe has paddle-like flap
- Run "on water" to take flight
|For more information on ducks, go to ENature.com|