English and Scientific names:

White-winged Scoter

Number of individuals: 

1 female

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

Holly Beach, ca 2 mi W of town of Holly Beach

Date(s) when observed:


Time(s) of day when observed:  

About 6:30 p.m.

Reporting observer and address:

Paul Conover

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

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

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

Good enough, bright and from the side.††††††

Optical equipment: 

Nikon Fieldscope III ED, Zeiss 10s, various cameras

Distance to bird(s): 

Ca 100 yards

Duration of observation:

20 minutes



Behavior of bird: 

Drifting offshore with scaup and a few other scoters.I had seen a White-winged Scoter that resembled this one earlier in the morning but hadnít gotten any good photos as if was well off the beach.I think this was the same bird, but farther W and closer in.


After a while I drove farther E to compensate for the drift of the flock and birds began to take off.I noticed the White-wing had as well.It flew a mile or two to the E and farther out.


A large dark scoter, thick-necked and with a long body.Whitish belly seen when bird stood up in water.Head solidly dark and velvety.Nasal feathering, bill, and eye also dark.Tail spiky, central tail feathers dark but others faded and whitish.Secondaries white, rest of wing dark.In flight, dwarfed scaup.


Similar species:

No other duck in this area is dark with white secondaries.I canít speak to other Ďwhite-wingedí scoters.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?


Previous experience with this species: 

Some, every year a bit more.This is the first solidly dark one Iíve encountered.†††††††††††

Identification aids:

This description is written from: 


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



Date and time: