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The White-winged Scoter is one of the world’s three scoters, all of which are seen in winter along the Washington coast. They are all in the genus Melanitta from the Greek melas, black, and netta, a duck. Heinrich Boie (1794-1827) Latinized the Greek word for duck and misspelled it. However, the principle of priority allows the error to stand
Dunlins are hardy birds that winter farther north than any other shorebird. This fall and winter they will be along the Washington coast from late October to early May. Major stopover points for them are the tidal flats and coastal estuaries around Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor and the Samish and Skagit Flats where they forage on marine and freshwater invertebrates by probing a few centimeters into the mud or fine-grained sand.
The Common Merganser (COME) is about 25” long with 34” wingspan and weighs 3.4 lb (1530 g). The genus name Mergus is Latin for diver. The species name merganser is from Latin mergere meaning to dip, plunge, and anser meaning goose. It is called Common because it may be seen more often than other members of its genus.
he Tufted Puffin is a dramatic looking bird. Its bulky bright orange bill, striking white mask and spectacular blond feather tufts streaming back along the sides of its head contrast with dark black feathers on the rest of the bird. It is excellent swimmer capable of deep dives of up to two minutes in length.