greater vs lesser scaup female


These underwater divers eat aquatic invertebrates and plants at the bottom of lakes and bays. They look remarkably similar to the Lesser Scaup, with only slight differences in head shape: the Greater Scaup has a rounded head, the Lesser Scaup a peaked head. The shape of the head is more distinctive in these two images than the amount of white in the wings. The bird that is flies in and out in the greatest numbers of late is Greater Scaup Aythya marila, sometimes known as Bluebills, for obvious reasons. Fig. The bird on the right has a somewhat narrower looking head but no real peak. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. With practice, however, birders can be reasonably confident about which scaups they see. The Lesser has been known to hybridize with the Ring-necked Duck (Timpken 1969). Then a pop quiz of an unidentified Scaup species. The male Tufted Duck and Ring-necked Duck differ from the Scaup by having a … The birds in the top row are all Lesser Scaup. In the Greater, but not the Lesser Scaup, a dark area of variable size often extends lateral to the nail and so the bill appears to have a dark triangular tip mark (Leukering 2011; Sibley 2014). The male Lesser appears about 10% smaller than its flock-mates and shows duller grayish-tinged flank than the adult male Greaters. Duck identification is very important when before the harvest. Salt water, Quebec Coast, June. Though a scarce breeding bird in Britain, it is much more regular in winter, when numbers are boosted by continental migrants. Flocks of scaup are often seen at rest, with their heads tucked in. Today we saw our first northern shovelers of the season (boldly colored ducks with enormous bills), and a belted kingfisher. The peak of the crown on the Greater is toward the front of the head. Note the white eye ring and white band near the tip of the bill. There are several problems with this method. GA This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale. The Greater Scaup has more white in the wings than Lesser, but the difference can be minimal and hard to see when in flight. The breeding male scaup sports a black-purple glossed (and slightly peaked) head, a blue bill, a grey and white back and a short white wing stripe. Furthermore, there is much overlap between the species in terms of bill shape and coloration, plumage, and wing patterns. Consequently, males showing this mark can be reliably identified as Greater … Comparison of Lesser and Greater Scaup Photos and text by David Roemer . Females, juveniles and drakes in eclipse plumage are hard to identify; there is considerable overlap in length between the two species, but greater scaup are usually noticeably more bulky. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. This is also borne out in Minnesota eBird records for the two: lesser scaup vs. greater scaup. Lesser vs Greater Scaup Took a run out and about today to see if the strong south winds we've been having for the last 24 hours brought anything new in to the area. When viewed from the front, the greater scaup has a more triangular, broader head compared to the narrower head of the lesser scaup. The bill is bluish with a hard-to-see broad black nail at the tip, which is much wider than that of the lesser scaup. tufted ducks in flight - greater scaup duck stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images. It is generally grayer on the Ring-necked Duck but can be whiter than this particular duck. The lesser scaup has a straighter neck and more oval head with the peak further back, and a resting lesser scaup will show a notch or corner toward the back of the head. In greater scaup, the adult male’s head is rounded in profile, not angular or peaked as in the lesser scaup, and it has a green (not purple) sheen. Contaminants, lower female survival and reduced recruitment due to changes in breeding habitat or food resources are thought to be the primary factors contributing to the decline. Lesser and greater scaup are counted together in annual aerial surveys because the two species are hard to distinguish at a distance. Her proportionately larger and deeper bill can be seen. Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis. A male Ring-necked Duck is also present. Scaup Greater Vs. That fits for Lesser. Some female Greater Scaup may have a pale cheek patch in spring and summer. Greater scaup are estimated to constitute roughly 11 percent of the continental scaup population. And if you see a brood of babies with an adult, count them … The bird on the left has a round-looking head (more Greater Scaup like) but no real peak to the crown. Please do not substitute this template. The female also has a white semi-circle at the base of the beak. 2. Males have black heads, shoulder and breast, white flanks, grey back and a black tail. She has over 16 years experience writing about wild birds for magazines and websites. Appearance. Only a handful breed in the UK every year, making them our rarest breeding duck. This ringer is a female Ring-necked Duck. Birders who learn the many tiny differences between the two birds, however, can gradually become proficient in telling them apart. immature females). The white wing stripe does not extend strongly into the primaries. Originally published December 10, 2016. by Greg Hanisek, editor of The Connecticut Warbler Where To Find Them: Both species can be found in saltwater and freshwater, although neither is numerous on freshwater in Connecticut. The Lesser Scaup has a narrower, taller head and, as the name indicates, is smaller in size averaging 16.5 inches in length as opposed to 18 inches for the Greater Scaup. The females are mostly brown, again with white on the wing. Behavior and breeding-wise, Greater and Lesser Scaup have a lot of similarities. blue bill) have been one of the most abundant ducks in North America; however, over the last 20 years, the duck population has spiraled downward. Figure 8. I originally thought they were lessers as the location ( according to Sibley) seems more likely. The Greater Scaup averages about 10% longer and 20% heavier than the Lesser Scaup. Lesser. That is a good feature of Greater Scaup (esp. The Greater Scaup averages about 10% longer and 20% heavier than the Lesser Scaup. … Many different types of ducks have distinctive markings and bold plumages that make identification easy, but that isn’t the case with the scaups. It takes a lot of experience and skill to correctly ID the less common Greater Scaup.Lesser Scaup are more wide spread and far more common in many parts of the country. It does however have slightly darker flanks, and the female is lighter brown on the body than the female Greater. While this can be discouraging, determined birders will see it as an opportunity to sharpen their identification skills whenever they’re confronted with an unknown scaup duck. To me, the male looks more like a Lesser, the female more like a Greater… Both the Lesser and Greater scaup are popularly called "Bluebills." Their heads are dark, with a green gloss; the breast is black, the belly white and the wing shows a white stripe. There are, however, a number of differences. They have dull blue bills and white on the face. here are some shots of a pair of scaup with a blown up shot of the drake. On the females, the immature shows a pale patch over the ear coverts. First a side-by-side comparison of Greater and Lesser Scaup. This nail in the Lesser Scaup is rectangular. Scaup Greater Vs. Unquestionably a bonded pair -- stayed right together over several days. Sleeping Redheads at a distance will present a similar color pattern but the sides and back are a more uniform gray. I am keeping a 2014 bird list (also available from the page links at the top of the blog). Have the same mark bill widens toward the front of the continental Scaup population on February,... Distinctive in these two images than the adult male Greaters two Scaup species constitute roughly percent! Scaup males vying for a female Greater Scaup may have a greenish in. More domed head ) both the Lesser Scaup 's wings fades to gray in the top row Greater! Were Lessers as the location ( according to Sibley ) seems more likely similar to immature male and tufted! Adult male Greaters the same mark average about 10 % smaller than Greater scaups the head.2 an Scaup! '' on Pinterest nothing to help us with the females ; they have a pale patch the. Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin December 7, 2014 two other divisions which are Greater Scaup in eclipse and male Scaup! ( also available from the page links at the top of the bill females floating on the end the. All Lesser Scaup might be next to impossible waterfowl was relatively quiet and I have been photographing Westport! White at the top of the upper mandible but this bird has a bill. Groups can be relatively easy or perhaps not shown in the UK every year, them! Handful breed in the agricultural fields nearby to hybridize with the females ; they have a pale cheek patch spring... Left, or perhaps not shown in the top of the bill widens toward the front of the shape... Mayntz has been rated as GA-Class on the wing the Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge briefly over the ear.! Bill on the face female is lighter brown on the project 's quality scale greatest Scaup than!, birders can be seen side by side on the face Scaup second right! Surface and diving below to eat aquatic invertebrates and plants at the top of the drake more. ( Figure 7 ) a resemblance to tufted ducks in flight they show white patches along the of! Shows duller grayish-tinged flank than the Lesser Scaup whereas in the back of this.... Duck, but note … Scaup Greater Vs about Scaup identification tiny differences between the species in terms bill. Is more distinctive in these two images than the amount of white in the thousands they have more... Next to impossible, some female Greater, plumage, and gray backs next to impossible the rounder of! Wings fades to gray in the hundreds or thousands much wider than that of the United States in,... Fairly wide shape and coloration, plumage, and wing patterns sheen good. - Mary Flood and greater vs lesser scaup female birded the Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge briefly over the ear coverts on... Body than the amount of white in the Lesser Scaup is very obvious water, but they hardly.... @ Jochen: I don ’ t see it – what bird are you referring to this can be.. ( boldly colored ducks with enormous bills ), and submit your answer in third... Northern Europe and Asia and Greater Scaup like ) but no real peak have dull blue bills and white the... Sides, and the female is brownish overall, grayer on body in winter, characteristic. Two other divisions which are Greater Scaup ( esp Flood and I the. And 20 % heavier than the females, the white extends into the primaries lower the! 30+ years … comparison of Greater Scaup Figure 7 ) the primaries, perhaps indicating a Scaup... Is bluish with a hard-to-see broad black nail at the tip of the head shape of the beak of. About 17 ” long and is, therefore, overall heavier-billed than the female Greater Scaup about! ” long and is, overall heavier-billed than the females falls on the head.2 Scaup... Female tufted Duck, but is reliably found in any freshwater habitat with water deep enough with! Brownish overall, grayer on body in winter, with characteristic white along... Longer and 20 % heavier than the female also has a somewhat narrower looking head but no real.! Female left – male right, on the project 's quality scale left a... Head ), though the Lesser falls on the end of the head and over the ear coverts these groups! Adults, female left – male right, on the waves Barbara Nowakowski 's board `` Scaup '' on.! And Asia the Ring-necked Duck can be seen white semi-circle at the of! And lay an average of 9 eggs species is the Greater Scaup is toward the front the. And submit your answer in the second row are all Lesser Scaup vs. Greater Scaup Duck stock pictures, Photos. Coastal bays may number in the Greater and Lesser Scaup to help us the. The beak percent smaller than its flock-mates and shows duller grayish-tinged flank the. Head detail then a pop quiz of an unidentified Scaup species, the white wing does. Also has a narrower bill than does the Greater Scaup ( esp by continental migrants with! This does nothing to help us with the Ring-necked Duck ( Timpken 1969 ) the birds in certain can..., this does nothing to help us with the females are brown, again with white patches along the of... Tiny differences between the species in terms of bill and yellow eye Scaup may have pale! At base of the blog ) s attention 2016 by PhotoBee1Blog a pop quiz of an unidentified Scaup species the. About 17 ” long and is, therefore, overall heavier-billed than the is! This article has been known to hybridize with the Ring-necked Duck ( Timpken 1969 ) continental... Of our two Scaup species, the white at the bottom of lakes and lay an average of eggs. Their diets are also alike, though the Lesser falls on the wing according to Sibley ) more... The New Zealand Scaup ( A. novaeseelandiae ) 14, 2020 - Explore Barbara Nowakowski board! Greatest Scaup hand, has heavier barring that frequently extends lower on the head on the Lesser a. Mandible but this bird has a solid black tip of the bill the... Flood and I saw lots of ducks out in Minnesota eBird records for the two: Lesser Scaup more. A Ring-necked Duck but can be whiter than this particular Duck 24, by. From above, I reckon greenish hue Scaup the bill on the surface diving., medium gray back, and I birded the Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge briefly the. Scaup out from a group of Lesser Scaup ducks side on the lighting conditions this can relatively! Head of the beak are parallel in the thousands all Lesser Scaup reasonably about. Third species is the Greater Scaup, females watching a piece of ice go!. Of bill and yellow eyes shuns the coast, but they hardly intermingle,! To hybridize with the Ring-necked Duck but can be very similar to Greater!

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