Ardea
Official journal of the Netherlands Ornithologists' Union

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Kist J. & Swaab J. (1955) Eerste waarneming van de Amerikaanse Zwarte ZeeŽend, Melanitta nigra americana (Swainson). ARDEA 43 (1-3): 132-134
A male American Scoter (Melanitta nigra americana) was observed on the fresh water side of the Brielse Maas near the bird-sanctuary 'De Beer', Hook of Holland on December 26th, 1954. The bird could be distinguished at once from the Common Scoter by its heavily swollen bill, of which the whole upper mandible (except the blackish nail) was a brilliant orange yellow, shading into orange red at the sides. Actual comparison was possible, because a male Common Scoter once or twice swam in the near vicinity of the bird. The bird, which apparently was in a healthy condition, was found dead on December 28th. Its stomach contained the pulverized shells of the fresh water mussel, Dreissena pofymorpha (Pall.). This is the first record of the American Scoter in Europe. In North America its normal winter range along the Atlantic coast extends from Maine to South Carolina. It is very probable that the heavy western gales which swept the Atlantic a few days before were responsible for its occurrence on the Dutch coast.


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