Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-40

Common name:

Black Scoter

Scientific name: Melanitta nigra
Date: 11-06 and 11-07-07
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 3
Age: adults
Sex: male and two females
Location: Panguitch Lake
County: Garfield
Latilong: 20
Elevation:  2550 m
Distance to bird: 30-80 m
Optical equipment: Ziess 85t diascope
Weather: clear and calm
Light Conditions: full sunlight
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Fairly large ducks with chunky bodies, round heads, and relatively small sloped bills.

Male: uniformly dark black except for bright orange on bill.

Females: uniformly dark brownish black (including belly and breast) with white cheek patch extending from base of black bill below the eye and down the throat, and crisply demarcated from dark crown, nape, and upper breast.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: all three swimming together and diving simultaneously, always in close proximity of each other. When diving they would spread wings slightly and dive forward with legs kicked back.
Habitat: high elevation, open lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
With relatively close scope views adult Black Scoters are very disinctive with no similiar species.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Very familiar with all Scoter species. I've seen six other Black Scoters in Utah, however these are the first adults I've observed.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 11-07-07
Additional material: Photos
Additional Comments: