Surf Scoters feeding near Second Beach in Stanley Park

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Surf Scoter | Macreuse à front blanc | Melanitta perspicillata: The photo at the top of this blog post demonstrates an interesting behaviour of scoters, namely that they swallow shellfish whole. It seems this is the case for all scoters and many other sea ducks, who break open the shells with their powerful stomach muscles (as indicated in the following article).

And I was quite happy to get the middle photo, which shows the duck just before it goes under water, which is more difficult than it appears, given that these are extremely efficient divers. I usually get a nice photo of their tail feathers sticking out of the water.

Taken from Second Beach in Stanley Park in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada, on March 13, 2016, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (all three photos: ISO 640 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000), cropped. Not baited, called in or set up.

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4 thoughts on “Surf Scoters feeding near Second Beach in Stanley Park

    1. Interesting… however, although I saw the date (1925!) I was unable to find the specific article because there was not search button. But I’m sure people who live close to or on the ocean have known of this for a long time. It was just news to me.

  1. Always a joy to stop by. I walk the same territory as you do – now I am looking closer at the marvelous diversity of birds that inhabit our spaces.

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