The Black Scoter breeds in the west on coastal tundra and alpine tundra lakes of Alaska and the Northwest Territories and in northern Quebec east to Labrador and Newfoundland in the east (Bordage and Savard 2011, Sibley 2014). This species winters along the Pacific Coast from the Aleutian Islands to northern Baja California and along the Atlantic Coast from Newfoundland south to northern Florida as well as along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Florida. The Black Scoter is an accidental species in Montana, observed mainly in the fall and early winter (Montana Bird Distribution Committee 2012).
For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.