Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-76

Common name:

Black Scoter

Scientific name: Melanitta americana
Date: 10-30-2013
Time: 9:00am
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: ?(non-adult male)
Location: Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management area,unit #1
County: Davis
Elevation: 4200ft
Distance to bird: 60 meters
Optical equipment: 10X50 binoculars,Canon powershot SX20 IS digital camera, Alpen 20-60X Spotting Scope
Weather: Overcast, cold 40F
Light Conditions: Moderate
Description:        Size of bird: Medium sized duck
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Duck like
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Dark brown body, white cheeks and blackish cap
(Description:)            Bill Type: Duck like, dark olive brown
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Medium sized duck, dark brown body, whitish cheeks with a blackish cap with a dark olive brown bill
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: Swimming in fresh water. At fist it was by itself, then it swam with some Pintail for a bit, then joined a group of Horned and Eared Grebes and started diving with them.
Habitat: Large fresh water pond in a large wetland complex on the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Only other similar duck is a male Ruddy Duck, which is much smaller and with a shorter stockier body than a Black Scoter.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've seen female/immature Black Scoters before in Novermber and December of 2011 on the Antelope Island Causeway
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds, D.A. Siblet 2000
Description from: From photos taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 688 East 700 South #105 Salt Lake City,UT 84102
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Original found and reported by Shyloh Robinson on 10-29-13, also seen by Dave Hanscom on that day. Myself and several others including Ned Bixler,Douglas Meade,Deedee O'Brian and Dixon Smith saw it on a Great salt Lake Audubon field trip. Several others have seen it as well
Date prepared: 10-30-13
Additional material: Photos