In my SLAS trip report for this morning, I suggested that the Black  
Scoter we saw was a first-year male because of some yellow-orange at  
the base of the bill.  In every other way, however, it looked a female.

The Black Scoter account in Birds of North America Online states, "In  
winter, many females have some orange around the nostrils, but never  
the engorged orange knob shown by males."  This is accompanied by a  
photo showing a female much like the Lincoln-Shields bird, with  
limited orange near the base of the bill.  A first-year male would  
normally be much blacker than a female (including the face) and would  
have more extensive orange, suggesting the adult male's orange knob.

So our bird was a female, not a young male.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: April 27, 2012 in Joplin, MO