Scoter, Velvet (Eurasian)

Grote zee-eend (europese)

Scoter, Velvet (Eurasian) (Melanitta fusca)

The Scoter, Velvet (Eurasian) (Melanitta fusca) is a sea duck from the family of of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
Grote zee-eend (europese)
English name:
Velvet scoter (Eurasian)
German name:
French name:
Macreuse brune
Scientific name:
Melanitta fusca

Scientific classification




All glossy black, except for head and wing. White crescentic spot that is below and behind the eye (stays even with eye stripe). Has a white to bluish eye iris. Upper wing all black, except for pure white seconderies and tips of greater converts. Which occasionally fringed black (though this is almost invisible on flying bird); under wing shows white secondaries and whitish greater converts, the rest sooty black. Has a slight swollen knob at the base of the bill black on center of culmen and edges of upper mandible; rest of bill orange-yellow, becoming more brighter towards nail. Legs and feet bright pink to reddish with blackish webs.

Over all body Dark Brown to black and dull without velvety sheen. Dark Brown Head and neck, slightly darker on hind crown, head has two pale and diffuse spots, at the base and on the ear-converts, both coming whiter with wear. Upper wing all Brown, except for pure white secondaries and tips of greater converts. which occasionally fringed black ( though this is almost invisible on flying bird); under wing shows white secondaries and whitish greater converts, the rest Brownish-black. Flanks hazel to rusty-reddish flanks. Belly and breast whitish streaked. Iris dark grey-brown, sometimes slightly paler grey. Bill Broader and flatter with no knob at base. Dark grey to blackish often with slight yellowish or orange tinge at the nail, and rarely, vague pinkish spots on the sides. legs and feet grey-brown with dull yellowish or orange tones.

Duller and grayer overall and whiter on belly. Same facial patches but clear white. Adult features appear first winter but does not obtain adult plumage until 2nd winter.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Scoter, Velvet (Eurasian) measures approximately 51-58 centimeters. The female measures approximately 49-57 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 1173-2104 gram. The female will weight about 1140-1895 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

Velvet scoters are generally winter-hardy and sociable. They are preferably kept on a large area of clean, cold, deep water, at least some of which (preferably half the area) should be more than 60cm and preferably more than1m deep. As with other diving ducks, most species are relatively ungainly on land and ponds should have shallow sloping banks. Some cover along the pond edges will generally be appreciated. Preferred nesting sites vary greatly within this group, from open ground nesting to thick vegetation and tree holes.

These ducks generally need a higher-protein diet than most waterfowl species and high-protein pelleted diets specifically designed for seaducks are now available, although supplementation with fish may still be important particularly for breeding.

Feeding in troughs containing stones may avoid the development of overgrown bills. Provision of salt water may decrease the incidence of fungal and other infections.

Ducklings may be given high-protein starter crumbs and live food, and provided with access to deep water for swimming from an early age.

Velvet scoters are rarely kept and have very rarely been bred in captivity.. Cold, pure water and a high quality diet are thought to be important in their maintenance. In captive conditions they are prone to respiratory infections and particularly to fungal infections. They can be aggressive.

These ducks are bred in only a few collections. Natural close cover and open cover should be available for nesting. Eggs are normally laid May to June. Ducklings have been successfully hand reared.

Hybridisation reported with Common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) and Surf scoter (Melanitta perspicillata); wild hybrid reported with Common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula).

The female Scoter, Velvet (Eurasian) usually lays from 8-10 cream, pink-buff or pale buff eggs and incubates them for 25-30 days.

Artificial incubating:

The ideal relative humidity for incubating most waterfowl eggs is 55% (ground nesters) and 40% (cavity nesters). The temperature is usually 37.4°C. Set ventilation as recommended by the incubator manufacturer. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. As the duckling develops there is a loss of water from the egg and the air sac gets bigger. In normal development of an egg with a 25-30 days incubation, the air sac occupies about a third of it three days earlier. Cleanliness is vital and ideally eggs should be moved to a separate hatcher at this point, where the humidity should be increased to 65% and even higher once they have pipped internally.

Bird banding:
Recommended closed leg band ring size for the Scoter, Velvet (Eurasian) is 12 mm.
The leg band ring can only be applied on a young sea duck at around 12-14 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it's good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Lundi Micro 45
Lundi Micro 45
Lundi Micro 45
Lundi Micro 45

The best floatable special rearing feed from Lundi. This ideally balanced complete feed with 42% protein forms the perfect basis for the successful rearing of your ducks. The ducks grow well and have their perfect juvenile plumage after a short time.
Made exclusively from wholesome and selected raw materials, Lundi Micro 45 is also ideally suited for year-round feeding of waterfowl.

Maintenance food:
Lundi Eider Plus
Lundi Eider Plus
Lundi Eider Plus
Lundi Eider Plus
Lundi Eider Plus
Lundi Eider Plus

Floating high-performance feed with a unique formula and almost 100% metabolism. A special complete food for sea ducks and seabirds with the highest nutritional requirements.

Lundi Ibis See-Ente special
Lundi Ibis See-Ente special
Lundi Ibis See-Ente special
Lundi Ibis See-Ente special

Floating special complete food for sea birds with the highest nutritional requirements thanks to a particularly high protein content of 45%.

Ideal for daily feeding in animals that eat a lot of protein in their natural habitat. A must for "fish eaters".

Europese soort

Het is niet verboden om deze vogels te houden die van nature in Nederland voorkomen, op voorwaarde dat deze vogels in gevangenschap zijn geboren; nakweek dus. Deze vogels zijn voorzien van een gesloten pootring. Het is wel verboden om deze vogels te houden die in het wild gevangen zijn. Alleen bepaalde instanties, zoals vogelasiels en vogelhospitalen, zijn bevoegd om jonge en gewonde wilde vogels te houden. Deze bescherming van vogels wordt vormgegeven door schadelijke handelingen te verbieden zoals:het doden, verwonden, vangen, bemachtigen en met het oog daarop opsporen van vogels (art. 9 Flora- en faunawet); het opzettelijk verontrusten van vogels (art. 10 Flora- en faunawet);het beschadigen, vernielen, uithalen, wegnemen en verstoren van nesten, holen of andere voortplantings- of vaste rust- of verblijfplaatsen van vogels (art. 11 Flora- en faunawet);en het zoeken, rapen, uit het nest nemen, beschadigen of vernielen van eieren van vogels (art. 12 Flora- en faunawet).

Photos of the Scoter, Velvet (Eurasian)

Videos of the Scoter, Velvet (Eurasian)