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Any surf scoter experts out there?


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I saw the pictured male surf scoter on 2/15 in Kittery, Maine. It doesn't have the usual white on the forehead. I know juveniles don't have that white spot, but they also don't have the white spot on the neck (this one does). Has anyone seen an adult male surf scoter without the white patch on the forehead? Is this very unusual?

Thanks!

ScoterSurf_1.jpg

ScoterSurf.jpg

ScoterSurf_3.jpg

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18 hours ago, Jefferson Shank said:

I think its is an immature male, which doesn't have all the white yet.

I disagree. There is no sign of immaturity in plumage or bill color/pattern, other than the lack of a forehead patch. These are examples of the appearance of imm male SUSC in the first three months of the calendar year:

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/45222141
 

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/214728851
 

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/142544941

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1 hour ago, pictaker said:

CRazy looking Surf Scoter, maybe a hybrid with a white winged? I have never seen one without the white patch.... great pic..

There’s no suggestion of that, either. The two species have very different bill shapes and patterns, as well as differing plumages.

One other note on the bird’s age: Juvenile plumage in male Surfs is brown, not black.

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