• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

Surf Scoter

(Melanitta perspicillata)
 
Surf Scoter
A Surf Scoter swims off of Baker Beach.
Will Elder, NPS
 

Natural History: The Surf Scoter feeds primarily on mollusks, but it also eats fish and crustaceans, which are caught by diving. It can be found resting on open waters in flocks. It nests in areas of brush or trees near slow moving water from June to September.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this species can be found in bays and the ocean.

Frequency: This animal is commonly seen in fall and spring and is abundant during the winter.

Identifying Characteristics: The males of this species are black with white on the head or nape. The females are a dusky brown with light spots on the sides of its head.

Presidio Birds main page

Did You Know?

Refugee Camp at the Presidio

In the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, nearly 250,000 people were left homeless. The Army responded quickly, establishing refugee camps on the Presidio and organizing relief efforts.