What’s that Duck?

Spotted this fella Saturday morning.   Do you know what type of duck it is?



  1. I believe that is a bufflehead duck. We have them up here at High Point Pond and one of my neighbors looked it up. Here’s a link: http://www.shawcreekbirdsupply.com/bufflehead_info.htm

  2. Ok I changed my mind – the black and white is reversed and it looks bigger in the picture than the ones I have seen, altho it is hard to tell without something next to it.

    I don’t know what it is!!

  3. David Hutchinson says

    It is a male Surf Scoter. There usually are a number of them along Beach Drive near Alki Point.

    Info from: birdweb.org/birdweb/bird_details.aspx?value=search&id=84

    Scoters are large, mostly black or dark gray sea ducks. The male Surf Scoter has a solid black body and black head with white patches at the back of the head and on the forehead above the eyes. This distinctive pattern has earned this bird the nickname ‘skunk-head coot.’ The bill of the adult male is large, swollen at the base, and yellow-orange with a white and yellow splotch on each side and a black spot on the splotch. The female is mostly dark gray. Her bill is shaped like that of the male, although slightly smaller and mostly gray in color. The female has white patches at the base of her bill and white smudging at her ears and back of her head. Both sexes have white eyes. Juveniles are similar to females but have black eyes.

    Surf Scoters nest on freshwater lakes and wetlands in the Arctic, in sparsely forested and semi-open regions. They winter in open coastal environments, favoring shallow bays and estuaries with rocky substrates.

  4. David Hutchinson says

    I should have mentioned an excellent resource on birds of our area.

    Title: Birds of the Puget Sound Region
    Authors: Bob Morse, Tom Aversa, and Hal Opperman

    Sold in local bookstores and also at True Value Hardware in the Alaska Junction.

  5. David, I pick up that book everytime I’m at True Value and flip through it when I’m in line…next time I’ll buy it. I like the big pictures and that it’s easy to skip to the bird I’m trying to find.

    Wendy…I’m right with you. That’s why I post the pictures when I’m not sure to see if the readers know! Here’s a Bufflehead…according to a BDB reader who goes by “Cat Woman”: http://www.mortgageporter.com/beach_drive/2007/12/youre-going-to.html#comments

    Thanks for both of your comments!

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