What is the difference between greater and Lesser Scaup?
The sides and back of the greater are lighter and there’s a larger black nail on the tip of the bill (not easy to see). 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.
How do I know if I have Lesser Scaup?
The Four Keys to ID
- Size & Shape.
- At a distance, breeding male Lesser Scaup are black and white, but closer views reveal an iridescent purple to green sheen on the head, a finely barred black-and-white back, a bluish bill, and a yellow eye.
Are Scaup and bluebill the same?
scaup, also called Bluebill, (genus Aythya), any of three species of diving ducks (family Anatidae). The greater scaup (A. marila), also called the big bluebill, breeds across Eurasia and most of the Nearctic region. Females are brown with white patches around their blue bills.
What is the Lesser Scaup classified as?
The lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) is a small North American diving duck that migrates south as far as Central America in winter. It is colloquially known as the little bluebill or broadbill because of its distinctive blue bill….
Is lesser scaup good eating?
6 | They’re Good to Eat I won’t argue that scaup rival most puddle ducks, a canvasback or even a rice-fed ringbill or redhead. However, when cleaned and prepared with care, they’re pretty good. The key is to eat them fresh.
Is lesser scaup rare?
Lesser Scaup is the most abundant diving duck in North America, with a global breeding population estimated at 3.8 million.
How long do lesser scaup live?
The oldest recorded Lesser Scaup was a male at least 18 years old.
What do blue bill ducks eat?
The duck feeds underwater by sifting mud with its beak. O. australis does have a preference for small invertebrates, including molluscs and aquatic insects such as chironomid larvae, caddis flies, dragonflies and water beetle larvae.
What is the difference between a greater and a lesser scaup?
But greater scaup have white on their primary and secondary feathers extending nearly to the tip of the wing, while lesser scaup only have white on their secondaries. Up close, the drake lesser scaup’s head has a purplish iridescence, while the sheen on the greater scaup’s head is green.
Where do great scaup live?
Greater Scaup tend to choose saltwater bodies, while Lesser Scaup are found in freshwater zones further inland. Still, there’s quite a bit of overlap in their ranges, especially in the summer when Greaters hang out in lakes and bogs, in addition to their regular seaside dives. So what’s a bewildered scaup watcher to do?
Where do lesser scaup go in winter?
Lesser scaup can be found in a wider range of habitats, including smaller lakes, and the majority of these birds winter in the Mississippi Flyway, with 30 percent passing farther east across the Great Lakes into the Atlantic Flyway.
Where did the word scaup come from?
The origin of the term scaup, however, is less clear. Early naturalists claimed that the name stemmed from the birds’ habit of feeding on scalp—the Scottish word for clams, oysters, and mussels. But other scholars credit the drake’s discordant scaup, scaup call as the name’s source.