Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Melanitta > Melanitta perspicillata

Melanitta perspicillata (Surf Scoter)

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Wikipedia Abstract

The surf scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) is a large sea duck, which breeds in Canada and Alaska. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek melas "black" and netta "duck". The species name is from the Latin perspicillatus, " spectacled", in turn derived from perspicere, "to see through". It is placed in the subgenus Melanitta, along with the velvet and white-winged scoters, distinct from the subgenus Oidemia, black and common scoters. Adult scoters of this species dive for crustaceans and molluscs, while the ducklings live off any variety of freshwater invertebrates.
View Wikipedia Record: Melanitta perspicillata

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 5.01996
EDGE Score: 1.79508


Adult Weight [1]  2.418 lbs (1.097 kg)
Birth Weight [3]  62 grams
Breeding Habitat [2]  Boreal forests
Wintering Geography [2]  Coastal U.S./Canada
Wintering Habitat [2]  Coastal marine, Rocky intertidal
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Granivore, Herbivore
Diet - Invertibrates [4]  80 %
Diet - Plants [4]  10 %
Diet - Seeds [4]  10 %
Forages - Underwater [4]  100 %
Female Maturity [5]  2 years
Male Maturity [5]  2 years
Clutch Size [6]  6
Global Population (2017 est.) [2]  700,000
Maximum Longevity [5]  9 years 6 months
Migration [7]  Intercontinental
Wing Span [8]  33 inches (.85 m)


Protected Areas

+ Click for partial list (100)Full list (105)


Important Bird Areas

Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Barkley Sound Canada A1, A4i, A4iii
Big Bay south to Delusion Bay Canada A4iii
Kitkatla Channel, Goschen Island North to Porcher Island Canada A4i, A4iii
Old Crow Flats Canada A4i, A4iii
Point Lepreau/Maces Bay Canada A4i, A4iii

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
California Floristic Province Mexico, United States No

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap


Bubo scandiacus (Snowy Owl)[9]
Enhydra lutris (Sea Otter)[9]
Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Bald Eagle)[9]
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)[9]


Range Map


Fathom Five National Marine Park; Middle America; North America; Oceania;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Savard, J.-PL, Bordage, D. & Reed, A. (1998) Surf scoter (Melanitta perspicillata). In: The Birds of North America, eds. A. Poole & F. Gill, No. 363. Philadelphia, PA, USA: The Birds of North America, Inc.
2Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
3Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
6Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
7Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
8del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
9Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
10Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979
11Lafferty, K. D., R. F. Hechinger, J. C. Shaw, K. L. Whitney and A. M. Kuris (in press) Food webs and parasites in a salt marsh ecosystem. In Disease ecology: community structure and pathogen dynamics (eds S. Collinge and C. Ray). Oxford University Press, Oxford.
12Prey selection and its relationship to habitat and foraging strategy of molting White-winged (Melanitta fusca) and Surf Scoters (M. perspicillata) in Puget Sound, WA, and the Strait of Georgia, BC., Heather J. Tschaekofske, Masters Thesis, Evergreen State College, 2010
13Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Tawas Point State Park
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License