4 Black Ducks in Michigan in 2023: Everything You Need to Know

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Have you ever seen black ducks in Michigan? These beautiful birds are a common sight in Michigan, especially during the winter months.

Black ducks are known for their dark plumage, bright yellow bills, and distinctive white underparts.

But there’s more to these birds than just their looks. Black ducks are an important part of the Michigan ecosystem, and they provide a variety of benefits to people and wildlife alike.

Today we are going to discover all black ducks in Michigan. We will also learn their habitat, diet, where they are found in Michigan, how to quickly identify them, etc.

Black Ducks in Michigan

I am Akash. I am also a student of bird species. I researched all black ducks in Michigan but found that in Michigan only 4 black duck species live. Here are the 4 black duck species:

  • American Black Duck
  • Surf Scoter
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Black Scoter

Let’s learn about their diet, habitat, identification, appearances, etc.

1. American Black Duck

American Black Duck
Image: American Black Duck

The American Black ducks in Michigan are mainly found in North America. It belongs to the family Anatidae. If you ever go to you can easily see these birds in northern parts of North America, including Michigan.

American Black Ducks can grow up to 20-26 inches. They have black plumage and greenish-black heads. The females have a brown body with a darker brown head.

American Black Ducks breed in the northern parts. During the non-breeding season, they can be found in Florida and in Michigan. They always prefer freshwater wetland habitats such as marshes, ponds, lakes, and rivers.

American Black Ducks are migratory birds. During the winter they migrate south from Michigan. They are dabbling ducks, meaning they feed by tipping their head down.

They feed on aquatic plants, seeds, insects, and small invertebrates.

The American Black Duck faces many threats, including habitat loss, hunting, hybridization with mallards, and climate change.

To observe American Black Ducks in Michigan, visit wetland areas like wildlife refuges, state parks, and nature preserves.

Related: Discover 5 Small Diving Ducks in Michigan

2. Surf Scoter

Surf Scoter
Image: Surf Scoter

The Surf Scoters are cool black ducks in Michigan along the coast. The males have a black body with a white patch on their forehead and a big orange bill.

Females are brown with a lighter face and a smaller bill. They gather in groups during winter and love shallow water where they find food like mollusks.

To see Surf Scoters in Michigan, check out Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Ludington State Park, or the Straits of Mackinac.

Remember, bird sightings can change, so it’s good to contact local birdwatching groups or check online resources for the latest info. Enjoy watching these amazing ducks!

Related: Discover 4 Rare Ducks in Michigan

3. Lesser Scaup

Lesser Scaup
Image: Lesser Scaup

The Lesser Scaup is a duck you can find in Michigan. They eat plants, seeds, and small creatures that they find underwater.

They like freshwater places like lakes and marshes. During migration, they also visit coastal areas.

You might spot Lesser Scaup in Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, Houghton Lake, Saginaw Bay, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, or Pointe Mouillee State Game Area.

Remember, bird sightings can change, so it’s good to check with local birdwatching groups or online resources for the latest information. Enjoy watching these amazing ducks!

4. Black Scoter

Black Scoter
Image: Black Scoter rides the surf

The Black Scoter is a type of sea duck you can find in Michigan. They have black bodies and bills, and the males have a yellow knob on their bills.

They live near the coast, including the Great Lakes in Michigan. They dive underwater to find food like mollusks and small fish.

During breeding, they nest in northern parts of North America.

In winter, they migrate south and can be seen along the coasts of the United States, including Michigan.

To see Black Scoters in Michigan, look along the coast of Lake Michigan or Lake Erie.

Places like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Ludington State Park, and the Straits of Mackinac are good spots to try.


In conclusion, the presence of black ducks in Michigan is a beautiful reminder of the diverse wildlife that exists in our state. These stunning birds show us how nature can adapt and thrive in different environments. We should cherish and protect their habitat so that future generations can enjoy seeing these graceful creatures. By caring for their homes, we not only help the black ducks but also appreciate the wonders of the natural world. Let’s celebrate their presence in Michigan as a symbol of nature’s resilience and our responsibility to preserve its beauty.

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