English and Scientific names:

White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca deglandi)

Number of individuals: 

1 apparent first-winter male

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

Off Broussard Beach, ca. 2 mi. SE of Cameron

Date(s) when observed:

15 March 2009

Time(s) of day when observed:  

About 1:30 PM CST

Reporting observer and address:

Justin Bosler

Reedsport, OR

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

Devin Bosler

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


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

Adequate light conditions under an overcast sky w/ no glare or heat haze distortion.

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss Victory FL 8x42 binocular (good condition) and Kowa Prominar TSN-4 scope w/ 20-60x zoom eyepiece (good condition)

Distance to bird(s): 

>100 meters

Duration of observation:

Discontinuous over 10 minutes.


Nearshore Gulf of Mexico

Behavior of bird: 

Resting w/ head tucked amid mixed-species raft of waterfowl containing tens of thousands of Lesser Scaup. Surf and Black Scoter also present in raft for comparison. 


Large, long-bodied, entirely blackish-brown sea duck w/ narrow white wing panels on folded wings and stiff, pointed tail. Bill concealed in back feathers throughout observation. Aged as first-winter by dark brownish flanks and overall blackish-brown upperparts and lack of noticeable eye patch. 


No voice heard.

Similar species:

Black and Surf Scoter easily eliminated by white wing panels and to a lesser extent by larger size and longer-bodied appearance.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Unfortunately, no photos or video attempted given the distance.

Previous experience with this species: 

Hundreds observed on Atlantic and Pacific Coasts in addition to several between the Gulf of Mexico(4) and Lake Pontchartrain(1) in LA.

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

Notes made after the observation and from memory.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Yes, 100% positive.

Date and time: 

20 July 2009 at 7:30 PM PDT