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Birding Málaga


Common name Common scoter
Scientific name Melanitta nigra
Type Seabirds
Status Wintering

Medium-sized seabird (approx 54 cm or 21 in) with a duck look. Plumage of very dark tones, long and pointed tail and a wide bill. Males are completely black, although the bill has an orange part. Females exhibit brown tones and the neck is light brown.



Where it lives

Species from northern Europe and the tundra linked to the coast and shallow littoral areas during its wintering period.

How it lives

Wintering species in the province that can also be observed during its migration. The Common Scoter is a marine duck. It breeds at the end of May in tundra environments. Nest on the ground, near the water. One laying of 6 to 8 eggs. This duck eats mainly molluscs, although it also consumes other aquatic invertebrates and small marine fish. It is usually in groups on the surface of the sea and takes impulse folding the wings to the body. It submerges completely when searching for prey, showing its diving skills.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

The Common Scoter can be watched along the entire coast of Malaga, both isolated individuals or, more frequently, in small groups composed of several females and a much smaller number of males. During a gale they can seek refuge inside river courses. There are observations on the beaches of Cala del Moral, Torre del Mar, Punta de Calaburras, Almayate or mouths of the Vélez and Guadalhorce rivers.

Curious facts

Its Latin name refers to its colour ("melanos") and to the fact that it is a duck ("netta") -from the Anatidae family-. The ability of these "black ducks" to dive allows them to reach down to 20 metres deep.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration