eWestern BirdsThe Quarterly Journal of Western Field Ornithologists
Vol. 43, No. 4
Western Field Ornithologists
Alaska Records of the Asian White-winged Scoter
Jon L. Dunn, Daniel D. Gibson, Marshall J. Iliff, Gary H. Rosenberg, and Kevin J. Zimmer
ABSTRACT: The three widely recognized taxa of “white-winged” scoters Melanitta—fusca, deglandi, and stejnegeri—are discussed variously in the literature as one, two, or three species. Adult males of the east Asian stejnegeri are distinguished from the American deglandi primarily by their black rather than brown flanks, yellow rather than black lamellae in the bill, and usually more hooked knob on the bill. Since 2002, there have been four well-supported records of stejnegeri in Alaska, two at St. Lawrence Island and two near Nome. Although we saw up to four adult males of stejnegeri at St. Lawrence Island in 2009, deglandi appears to predominate there. More study is needed for the status of stejnegeri as species or subspecies to be settled.