While birding Milwaukee’s Lakefront this morning I located the Surf Scoter that had been recently reported. It was just north of the South Shore Yacht Club. The Red-necked Grebe was also still present that had been reported but it was out near the breakwall. It was a gloomy morning and started to rain shortly after I arrived. I hung around long enough to get a few photographs. Photographs taken on April 12, 2014.
Binomial name: Melanitta perpicillata
Category: Ducks, Geese and Swans
Size: 20” long, 30” wing span
Weight: 2.1 lb.
Habitat: Breeds across Alaska through northern Canada on freshwater lakes and wetlands in the Arctic that have minimal forests. They winter on both coasts of the US.
Diet: Main diet is mollusks but also consumes crustaceans, aquatic insects, small fish and plant matter. Typically dives water less than 30 feet deep.
Nesting: The nest is a depression in the ground located near rivers, lakes or near the sea. They are usually well hidden in dense brush or low branches. Usually 5-9 creamy-white eggs are laid in the nest lined with vegetation parts and down. As soon as the young are dry, they leave the nest and the female leads them to food rich areas. Young can feed themselves at that time.
Cool Facts: Has the nickname “skunk-head coot”.