Surf Scoter

Melanitta perspicillata

Also known as: Skunk-duck, Skunk-head

48 cm (19") Common. Nests on tundra and on wooded Arctic lakes and rivers; winters along coasts; casual inland migrant. Dives through breaking ocean surf. Sloping forehead - not rounded. Also known as "Skunk-duck" or "Skunk-head".

Male: black head and body contrast white eye; bill is black, orange, yellow and white; white patches on the forehead and nape, and multicolored bill. In flight, white patches on head.

Female: overall grayish-brown with a darker crown; two white spots on each side of face; large dark bill. In flight, all brown except light belly; no wing patches.

Song: low croaking.