Melanitta fusca - (Linnaeus, 1758)
White-winged Scoter
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Melanitta fusca (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 175163)
French Common Names: macreuse brune
Spanish Common Names: Negreta Ala Blanca
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100120
Element Code: ABNJB17030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Waterfowl
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae Melanitta
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Melanitta fusca
Taxonomic Comments: Regarded as two separate species by some authors: M. fusca, velvet scoter, and M. deglandi, white-winged scoter, the latter also including the eastern Asiatic form M. stejnegeri (AOU 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 21Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5N,N5M (29Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S3N), Alaska (S5B,S5N), Arizona (S1N), California (SNRN), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (S3N), District of Columbia (S1S2N), Florida (SNA), Georgia (S4), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (S1N), Iowa (S1N), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (S1S3N), Maine (S4S5N), Maryland (S3N), Massachusetts (S5N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRM), Mississippi (SNA), Nebraska (SNRN), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (S2N), North Dakota (SX), Ohio (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (S2N), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNRN), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S3N), Utah (S1S2N), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (S3N), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA)
Canada Alberta (S3S4B), British Columbia (S4S5), Labrador (S4N,SUM), Manitoba (S3B), New Brunswick (S4M,S2N), Newfoundland Island (S4N,SUM), Northwest Territories (S3B), Nova Scotia (S4N), Nunavut (SUB,SUM), Ontario (S4B,S4N), Prince Edward Island (S4N), Quebec (S3S4B), Saskatchewan (S5B,S3M), Yukon Territory (S4B)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: northern Eurasia; North America, from northern Alaska, northern Yukon, northwestern and southern Mackenzie, southern Keewatin, northern Manitoba, and northern Ontarion south through Alaska and most of western and central Canada; formerly nested in some western states adjacent to Canada; occurs in summer in areas farther east, possibly breeding (AOU 1983). NON-BREEDING: Eurasia; North America, along Pacific coast from Aleutians to northern Baja California, along Atlantic coast from Gulf of St. Lawrence to South Carolina, Great Lakes, casual in interior U.S. In the early 1990s, USFWS Winter Sea Duck Survey in eastern North America found the highest densities of scoters (all species) in Virginia, New York, Maine, and Massachusetts (descending order of abundance, Kehoe 1994).

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Hydroelectric projects in Quebec and Labrador have had localized impacts on breeding habitat, but effects on the continental population probably have been small; urbanization and industrialization of many coastal bays and estuaries have degraded some winter habitat; chemical contamination and heavy metal accumulation of winter food supplies possibly may be affecting reproductive success of some populations (Kehoe 1994). Vulnerable to overharvest through hunting (Kehoe 1994).

Short-term Trend Comments: Available population data are inadequate for reliable determination of population trend (Kehoe 1994).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: northern Eurasia; North America, from northern Alaska, northern Yukon, northwestern and southern Mackenzie, southern Keewatin, northern Manitoba, and northern Ontarion south through Alaska and most of western and central Canada; formerly nested in some western states adjacent to Canada; occurs in summer in areas farther east, possibly breeding (AOU 1983). NON-BREEDING: Eurasia; North America, along Pacific coast from Aleutians to northern Baja California, along Atlantic coast from Gulf of St. Lawrence to South Carolina, Great Lakes, casual in interior U.S. In the early 1990s, USFWS Winter Sea Duck Survey in eastern North America found the highest densities of scoters (all species) in Virginia, New York, Maine, and Massachusetts (descending order of abundance, Kehoe 1994).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, NC, NDextirpated, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ND Bottineau (38009)*, Burke (38013)*, Mountrail (38061)*, Renville (38075)*, Rolette (38079)*, Ward (38101)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
09 Des Lacs (09010002)+*, Willow (09010004)+*, Moose Mountain Creek-Souris River (09010008)+*, Upper Pembina River (09020315)+*
10 Lake Sakakawea (10110101)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Nests relatively late. In Saskatchewan (53 degrees north lat.), nest initiation peaks in early June; mean hatch date in late July (Brown and Fredrickson 1989). Clutch size is 5-17 (average about 10). Takes up to 18 days to lay clutch of 10 eggs. Incubation, by female (male departs), lasts 25-31 days. Precocial young are tended by female, fledge in 8-10 weeks. In southern breeding range in Canada, most young do not fledge until mid-September. Takes at least 2 years to mature (Kehoe 1994). Available information indicates a relatively high nest success rate but low rate of duckling survival (Kehoe 1994).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates northward from wintering grounds March-May; most arrive in breeding areas in Saskatchewan in early May. Begins migrating southward from breeding grounds August-November. Birds banded in summer in Saskatchewan were recovered on U.S. west coast, east coast, Gulf Coast, and Great Lakes. Males migrate to molting areas in early summer; these migrations poorly known.
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river
Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Tundra
Habitat Comments: Nonbreeding: coastal salt and brackish waters, less commonly on inland fresh waters. Nests on islands or shores inland ponds, lakes or slow-moving streams in wooded, bushy, or overgrown sites, or, less commonly, in concealed or bare sites in open tundra or prairie. Strongly philopatric to nesting areas (Kehoe 1994).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: About 90% of adult diet is animal food; eats mollusks (especially blue mussel), crustaceans, some aquatic insects and fishes (Terres 1980). During summer also eats some plant food; pondweeds, bur reeds, etc. May forage to 12 m deep.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 53 centimeters
Weight: 1500 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: In recent decades, annual harvest in eastern North America averaged 26,125 (39% in eastern Canada) (Kehoe 1994).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Diving Ducks and Sea Ducks

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding , or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Little information on breeding home ranges; separation distance somewhat arbitrary. Territories not defended in eiders, but goldeneyes defend small (0.18 to 1.45 hectares) territories (Eadie et al. 2000). Philopatry to breeding area strong in Common Eider (Reed 1975, Wakeley and Mendall 1976, Swennen 1990), and Spectacled Eider (Grand and Flint 1997).
Date: 29May2001
Author: Cannings, S.
Notes: Contains all members of the tribes Aythini, Mergini and Oxyurini.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Staging area, Foraging area, Roosting area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating or staging flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds/square kilometer in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 10 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Molting area, Migration staging area, Wintering area, Non-breeding feeding concentration area, Roost
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of molting, staging, or wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds/square kilometer in appropriate habitat. For wintering occurrences, it would be preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Mapping Guidance: Map roosting and feeding areas with separate polygons in same EO.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Fidelity to molting sites (one or two lakes) high in Barrow's Goldeneye (van de Wetering 1997); fidelity to wintering sites probably high in Barrow's Goldeneye (Savard 1985). Separation distance somewhat arbitrary, set at 10 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 21Mar2001
Author: Cannings, S.
Notes: Contains all members of the tribes Aythini, Mergini and Oxyurini.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 06Sep1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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