Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2019-38

Common name:

Black Scoter

Scientific name: Melanitta americana
Date: 11-2-2019
Time: 3:30pm
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: Female/immature
Location: Antelope Island Causeway
County: Davis
Elevation: 4200ft
Distance to bird: Closest approach was 30m
Optical equipment: Nikon 10x42
Weather: sunny-45F
Light Conditions: excellent
Description:        Size of bird: medium sized duck
(Description:)       Basic Shape: typical duck shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: dark brown body, blackish crown and bill, with white cheeks
(Description:)            Bill Type: typical duck bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Duck flew in and landed on the outflow of the 2nd bridge about 30m out, noted the solid white cheeks of a hen Black Scoter. It them began diving and feeding with some Scaup nearby. Similar in size to Scaup, sooty brown body, blackish crown and bill, solid white cheeks.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: swimming and diving on Great Salt Lake
Habitat: open salt water of the Great Salt Lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Only similar duck is a male Ruddy Duck in non-breeding plumage, but Ruddy Ducks are much smaller, with a short stout body, and different head shape, prominent concave forehead.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted: memory
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 84102
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Charles Hurd, Lauri Taylor, Vivian Schneggenburger
Date prepared: 11-4-19
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments:  eBird checklist: