Sea Duck Joint Venture

A Conservation Partnership under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

Sea Duck Joint Venture

Sea Duck Joint Venture

Surf Scoter

Melanitta perspicillata

The surf scoter is a stout sea duck. Adult males weigh about 1050 grams (2.3 lbs) and females 900 grams (2 lbs). Adult males are distinguished by their bright, bulbous, multi-colored bills, lustrous velvety black plumage, and conspicuous white patches on the forehead and the back of the head/neck. In immature males, bill coloration is less dramatic than in adults and the white head patches tend to be either entirely absent or much smaller in size.

Sea Duck Information Series fact sheet

Surf Scoter Species Knowledge Summary and Information Needs [PDF]

Aerial Identification video

Surf Scoter Aging Guide

Surf Scoter Photo Gallery

Surf Scoter Range Map


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The Sea Duck Joint Venture promotes the conservation of all North American sea ducks through partnerships by providing greater knowledge and understanding for effective population and habitat conservation and management.