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Black scoter        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Black scoters are the smallest of three species of scoters in North America.   Along the California coast, surf scoters are by far the most common species; black and white-winged scoters are quite scarce.   This female (males are black with an orange knob at the bill base) was photographed at Moss Landing, California.   It was usually swimming with a large flock of surf scoters but occasionally came close to the beach to feed on mole crabs (as in one image here).

  • Canon R5; 800 mm IS + 1.4X converter (2021)