Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra)

The black scoter, also known as the common scoter, is commonly beset by parasites such as tapeworms and nematodes. For some unknown reason, females have more freshwater parasites, while males have more marine ones!


In Canada, the black scoter occurs over a wide area, breeding in freshwater in parts of the Arctic, northern Quebec and Manitoba, and Newfoundland, but information on its exact distribution is sketchy. Elsewhere its breeding range includes Alaska, Iceland, northern Scandinavia, northern Russia and northern Siberia. In fall, black scoters migrate to the ocean, where they winter along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California, and in the Atlantic from Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico.

For a complete species account, visit the Great Lakes section.