The Common Scoter is characterised by its bulky shape and large bill. The male is all black with a bulbous bill which shows some yellow coloration around the nostrils. The female is a brown bird with pale cheeks, very similar to female Black Scoter.


Habitat and Distribution

The Common Scoter winters further south in temperate zones, on the coasts of Europe as far south as Morocco. It forms large flocks on suitable coastal waters. These are tightly packed, and the birds tend to take off and dive together.


Feeding

This species dives for crustaceans and molluscs; it also eats aquatic insects and small fish when on fresh water.


Breeding

They build a lined nest on the ground close to the sea, lakes or rivers, in woodland or tundra. 6-8 eggs are laid.