Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813. / American ornithology; or The natural history of the birds of the United States
Species 16. Anas nigra. Scoter duck, pp. -331
SPECIES 16. dNSS NIGRI& SCOTER DUCK. [Plate LXXII.-Fig. 2. Le .Jlacreuse, Bitss. VI, P. 420. pl. 38. fig. 2.-BUFF. IX, p. 234. pl. 16.-Pl. Ent. 978.-B3E~wcx, II,p. 288.-3rct. Zool. So. 484. -LATH. SYn. mp. 480.-PEALE'S Museumn, XNo. 2658.X THIS Duck is but little known along our seacoast, being more usually met with in the northern than southern districts; and only during the winter. Its food is shell fish, for which it is almost perpetually diving. That small bivalve so often mention- ed, small muscles, spout fish, called on the coast ri r handles, young clams, &c. furnish it with abundant fare; and wherever these are plenty the Scoter is an occasional visitor. They swim, seemingly at ease, amidst the very roughest of the surf; but fly heavily along the surface, and to no great distance. They rarely penetrate far up our rivers, but seem to prefer the neighbour- hood of the ocean; differing in this respect from the Cormorant, which often makes extensive visits to the interior. The Scoters are said to appear on the coasts of France in great numbers, to which they are attracted by a certain kind of small bivale shell fish called vaimeaux, probably differing little from those already mentioned. Over the beds of these shell fish the fishermen spread their nets, supporting them, horizontally, at the height of two or three feet from the bottom. At the flowing of the tide the Scoters approach in great num- bers, diving after their favourite food, and soon get entangled in the nets. Twenty or thirty dozen have sometimes been taken in a single tide. These are sold to the Roman Catholics, who I Jnas nigra, GMEIEL. Syst. i, p. 508,.o. 7.-.Ind. Orn. p. 848, Ao. 43.-_irare3 Jlan. dI'Orn. p. 856G.-I'EALL'S Jtllseum, .Ao. 2659,fienalc.
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