Velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca)

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The velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca), also called a velvet duck, is a large sea duck, which breeds over the far north of Europe and Asia west of the Yenisey basin.

The lined nest is built on the ground close to the sea, lakes or rivers, in woodland or tundra, and typically contains 7–9 eggs. This duck dives for crustaceans and molluscs.

It is characterised by its bulky shape and large bill. It is the largest scoter at 51–58 cm. The male is all black, except for white around the eye and a white speculum. It has a bulbous yellow bill with a black base. The females are brown birds with two pale patches on each side of the head and white wing patches.

Accidental in winter.

Foto : Mihai Baciu

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