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Surf Scoter

Melanitta perspicillata

The Surf Scoter winters along the east and west coast of the USA, but breeds in Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territory and east to the Atlantic coast. Though known as “sea ducks”, these birds breed in freshwater lakes of the boreal forests far to the north on the North American Continent.

In 2001, I witnessed a large, dense raft of perhaps a hundred of these birds actively feeding in the Puget Sound area of the Washington coast. The birds all dived repeatedly, all at once, simultaneously resurfacing a minute later. The sea water virtually boiled with each cycle. It was very exciting to watch.

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