Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2009-24

Common name:

Black Scoter

Scientific name: Melanitta nigra
Date: November 13, 2008
Time: afternoon
Length of time observed: 20 minutes
Number: 1
Age:  first-winter ?
Sex:  female ?
Location: Otter Creek State Park
County: Piute
Latilong: 15/16
Elevation: 6635 ft
Distance to bird: 80-100 m
Optical equipment: 20-60 x scope
Weather: clear and sunny
Light Conditions: bright afternoon conditions
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First-winter / female type. Digiscoped a couple low resolution photos.


Fairly large, chunky, classic-shaped duck with round head and relatively thin, dark gray bill. Overall uniformly dark brown with pale check patch strongly demarcated from dark crown. I believe it might be a first-winter as the breast was slightly paler than the rest of the body.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: diving/ swimming on open reservoir
Habitat: reservoir
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
distinguished from juvenile Surf Scoter by bill size, head pattern and shape.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address:  
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 12-16-08
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments:  information copied from field notes