adult male; fancy bill; white on head, nape (California, USA; 2007-19-07)

Surf Scoter
Melanitta perspicillata

Native Range: North America

Notes: sometimes found in mixed flocks with Black- and/or White-winged Scoters; nests on freshwater ponds and lakes across northern Canada and Alaska, winters in saltwater along both coasts; large triangular bill helps the bird harvest and crush molluscs that are a big part of its diet;

adult female; white spots on face, nape (California, USA; 2007-02-24)

first-winter male; brown, paler than adult (California, USA; 2007-19-07)

first-spring female; dark eyes, cap (California, USA; 2007-03-04)

juvenile/first-winter (California, USA; 2007-19-07)

flying in a line (California, USA; 2006-10-14)

mixed-sex flock (California, USA; 2006-02-26)

flock showing social nature of species (California, USA; 2006-02-26)

thick coat of water-repellent feathers (California, USA; 2007-19-07)
eating a bivave; note serrated bill (California, USA; 2007-19-07)
male posing for picture; showing red legs (California, USA; 2007-19-07)