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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Black Scoter - Melanitta americana

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status


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Copyright by: The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, all rights reserved.
General Description
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.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 73

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density


SUMMER (Feb 16 - Dec 14)
Direct Evidence of Breeding

Indirect Evidence of Breeding

No Evidence of Breeding

WINTER (Dec 15 - Feb 15)
Regularly Observed

Not Regularly Observed


(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

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Citation for data on this website:
Black Scoter — Melanitta americana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from