Louisiana Ornithological Society’s

Louisiana Bird Records Committee

Report Form



  1. English and Scientific names:


White-winged Scoter, Melanitta fusca


  1. Number of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage (e.g., 2 in alternate plumage):


11 birds, mixed ages. See discussion below.


  1. Locality: LOUISIANA: (parish) (specific locality)


Rapides Parish – Kincaid Reservoir, Observed from East Side of Dam Face.


  1. Date(s) when observed:


February 21, 2014


  1. Time(s) of day when observed:


2:35 PM – 3:00 PM CST.


  1. Reporting observer and address:


Jay V. Huner

428 Hickory Hill Drive

Boyce, LA 71409


  1. Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):




  1. Other observers who Independently identified the bird(s):


Charlie Lyon, Mike Musumeche, Terry Davis, Steve Shively and others.


  1. Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):


Light clouds, sunny, mid-afternoon sun from right. Reasonable amount of glare.


  1. Optical equipment (type, power, condition):


Primary – Eagle Optics Raven Scope – good condition; Secondary – Swift 10x42 Waterproof Binoculars in good condition.


  1. Distance to bird(s):


Initially approximately 0.7 mile; Finally, approximately 300 yards.


  1. Duration of Observation:


Initially watched flock of about 11 ducks at extreme distance for about 20 minutes. Subsequently watched smaller group of 6 ducks at about 300 yards for 5 minutes.


  1. Habitat:


Initially – in mouth of reservoir cove; subsequently in open water off dam face.


  1. Behavior of bird/circumstances of observations (flying, feeding, resting; including and stress habits in identification: relate events surrounding observation):


I watched the birds at extreme distance and could see them swimming, occasionally flapping their wings and frequently diving, apparently feeding. I initially counted 8 birds but a boat subsequently flushed the birds and at least 5 flew to the east and 6 flew toward me to the north. The 6 that flew toward me landed about 300 yards from me and basically did nothing while I watched them other than to stay very close together and hold position but did occasionally flap their wings.



  1. Description (include only what was actually seen, not what “should” have been seen: include if possible: total length/relative size compared to other familiar species, body bulk, shape, proportions, bill, eye, leg, and plumage characteristics. Stress features that separate it from similar species):


When I saw the birds at extreme distance, they appeared as black, stocky birds. Body shape was similar to half an ellipse with stocky heads. When the birds flapped their wings, I felt that I was seeing white secondary feather patches on their wings. When one group landed closer to me, the white secondary feather patches on their wings were more apparent when they flapped their wings but glare was such that they were not absolutely clear. I subsequently saw, clearly, white tear drop-shaped white markings around the eyes on two ducks.


  1. Voice:


Could not hear bird even if it were vocalizing.


  1. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation):


Black and Surf scoters. White secondary wing patches and white tear-drop-shaped white markings around the eyes are diagnostic of White-winged Scoter.


  1. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? Attached”):

None – distance too great to even try to photograph birds with my camera equipment.


  1. Previous experience with this species:


I have encountered White-winged Scoters at least five times in Louisiana and have seen them in Alaska in 2007 and 2010.


  1. Identification aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in identification):


    1. at time of observation: None


    1. after observation: Sibley’s Field Guide and National Geographic Field Guide.


  1. This description is written from: _x_notes made during the observation (notes attached?); __notes made after the observation ; __x__ memory.


2:35 – 2:45 PM. Kincaid Reservoir. 2500 yards. Viewed SW-Between KRA [Kincaid Recreation Area] and houses to NE. 8 WW Scoters – Actively feeding. Large black ducks. White wing patch seen when flapping wings. Too far to even consider photographs. Wouldn’t ever have looked without MJM [Michael J. Musumeche] and SS [Steve Shively] information and reports. 2:55 PM – boat frightened birds – 500 yards. White wing hard to see in glare but saw 2 with white eye ellipses. 11 birds got up when boat flushed birds. Elliptical-half ellipse on water. Stocky. Canvasback-like heads.


  1. Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain.




  1. Signature of reporter __Jay V. Huner__ date 02/22/2014 – 9:35 PM.