White-Winged Scoter

Melanitta deglandi

Scoters are known as ‘sea ducks’ because they spend their winters in coastal waters, either in sheltered bays, river mouths, or near shore breakers. I have more experience with Surf Scoters than with White-Winged Scoters or Black Scoters, which are the three scoter species found in North America. All North American scoter species nest inland near freshwater lakes in Boreal forests. I’ve yet to meet a Black Scoter, and until 2022, I’d never encountered a White-Winged Scoter.

Modern Taxonomists regard all North American scoters, such as White-Winged Scoters, as monotypic (i.e. no subspecies are recognised).

When I met my first White-Winged Scoters, they were in the company of a larger group of Surf Scoters along Toad River next to the Alaska Highway in Canada’s British Columbia. It would be hard for me to single out a highlight from my 2022 expedition through northern Canada, but my visit to Toad River rates very high as a candidate.

Range Map for White-Winged Scoter
Range Map

7 Photos

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