1. English and Scientific names: White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi)


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

3. Locality: Parish:  East Baton Rouge

   Specific Locality: Pennington Biomedical Research Center pond, Perkins Rd. x Quail Dr., Baton Rouge, LA


4. Date(s) when observed: 10 Feb 2014

5. Time(s) of day when observed: 10:00 am

6. Reporting observer and address: Erik I. Johnson, 102 Goodwood Cir., Lafayette, LA 70508

7. Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s): none

8. Other observers who independently identified the bird(s): Eric Liffmann found the bird about a week before, and others had apparently seen the bird.

9. Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light): over-cast, even light.  Looking slightly down onto pond.

10. Optical equipment (type, power, condition): 10x42 Swarovski EL binoculars, good condition

11. Distance to bird(s): 100-150 feet

12. Duration of observation: 5 minutes

13. Habitat: man-made pond in suburban Baton Rouge

14. Behavior of bird / circumstances of observation (flying, feeding, resting; include and stress habits used in identification; relate events surrounding observation): swimming (floating, barely moving) and occasionally diving

15. 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): adult male, with bright white eye spot (sort of crescent or tear-dropped shaped), otherwise jet black with a narrow white wing patch visible with wings folded. Bill goofy-looking for a duck, with dark area protruding into bill with paler tip. Actively diving. No other ducks to compare size.

16. Voice: not heard

17. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation): Other scoters lack small eye spot and white wing patch.  No other mostly black diving duck to consider.  Not dabbling duck by behavior.


18. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? attached?): No.

19. Previous experience with this species: Seen many times in New England, some in recent years during brief visits, but most 10+ years ago.  Never seen in LA before.

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

a. at time of observation: none

b. after observation: Sibley Guide to N.A., Nat. Geog. Field Guide 3rd Ed.

21. This description is written from: _____ notes made during the observation (_____notes attached?);__X__notes made after the observation (date:11 Feb 2014); __X__memory.


22. Are you positive of your identification if not, explain: Yes

23. Date:16 Feb 2014  Time:11:35am