The scoters are stocky seaducks in the genus Melanitta. The drakes are mostly black and have swollen bills. Females are brown. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek melas "black" and netta "duck".
|Adult male white-winged scoter (Melanitta deglandi)|
F. Boie, 1822
They breed in the far north of Europe, Asia, and North America, and winter farther south in temperate zones of those continents. They form large flocks on suitable coastal waters. These are tightly packed, and the birds tend to take off together.
Their lined nests are built on the ground close to the sea, lakes or rivers, in woodland or tundra. These species dive for crustaceans and molluscs.
|Image||Subgenus||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Oidemia||Melanitta americana||black or American scoter||north of North America in Labrador and Newfoundland to the southeast Hudson Bay|
|Oidemia||Melanitta nigra||common scoter||north of Europe and Asia east to the Olenyok River|
|Melanitta||Melanitta fusca||velvet scoter||eastern Turkey, Europe as far south as Great Britain, and on the Black and Caspian Sea.|
|Melanitta||Melanitta deglandi||white-winged scoter||North America.|
|Melanitta||Melanitta stejnegeri||Stejneger's scoter||far north of Asia east of the Yenisey Basin.|
|Melanitta||Melanitta perspicillata||surf scoter||North America, mostly in Northern Canada and Alaska|