Description: Size: 38-46 cm in length with a 68-77 cm wingspan. The male lesser scaup can be distinguished from the similar greater scaup by its angular (not rounded) head with a purplish sheen. See more images of this species in Macaulay Library. Overhunting in the past was one reason why game laws, wildlife reserves, and conservation departments were created. That said, I am by no means an expert, or even very knowledgeable, about field marks of scaup in flight. Medium-sized diving duck with a peaked head and a smallish straight bill. From afar flocks might just look like floating mats of vegetation on the water. To quickly identify if the scaups flying past you are lesser or greater scaups, look at the white patch on the upper surface of their extended wings. Like other popular migratory gamebirds, their numbers are carefully monitored by state, federal, and international conservation agencies. I watched another 10 minutes or so and saw no obvious signs of injury. Many migrate hundreds or thousands of miles. A male lesser scaup is generally silent and only makes soft calls during courtship. Female Lesser Scaup are mostly dark brown but with a variable size white patch behind the bill. - lesser scaup stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images. Lesser scaup breed in inland Alaska, most of western Canada, and south into Montana and Wyoming. Larger than a Green-winged Teal, smaller than a Canvasback. To quickly identify if the scaups flying past you are lesser or greater scaups, look at the white patch on the upper surface of their extended wings. 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. In fall, they and millions of other birds migrate south, mostly along the famous Central and Mississippi flyways, to winter in the southern United States and into Central America. Weight- 2 lbs. Females are brown overall with a darker brown head and a white patch next to the bill, but not all females have a white patch. Habitat loss and pollution may be part of the problem, but it could also be due to the lesser scaup’s relatively late breeding time: Climate change may be causing their foods to diminish at the place and time their growing young need top nutrition. The Lesser Scaup is a medium-sized diving duck with a small peak at the back of the head. Sure, some ducks do quack—especially female dabbling ducks. Young can fly 47 to 61 days after hatching. Adults are 38–48 cm (15–19 in) long, 41.7–43 cm (16.4–16.9 in) on average. It walked back to the water, flying the last few feet, apparently OK. It is a series of shots of Greater Scaup flying out of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge’s West Pond, of which the image that includes Red-breasted Mergansers is the most interesting. Tight-knit groups of Lesser Scaup congregate on large lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries during migration and winter, sometimes by the thousands. In winter also occurs in bays, estuaries, and lagoons. Like other diving ducks, scaups forage for aquatic invertebrates such as snails, crayfish, and aquatic insects, and submerged aquatic vegetation by diving completely below the surface and swimming underwater. A nonmigratory population exists in the Cascade Mountains. Birders there had to invent games to make seeing a scaup interesting: Watch Queue Queue White-winged Scoter. The wingspan is 68–78 cm (27–31 in). During the breeding season, they are more commonly found in marshes of northern North America where they nest. Birds lay hard-shelled eggs (often in a nest), and the parents care for the young. The word scaup (pronounced “skopp”) may be related to the word scalp, akin to terms in northern European languages that mean “shell” or “shellfish bed”: In some regions, scaups feed on clams, oysters, and mussels. The smaller size can be explained by the fact that it is further away (which you can tell because it is out of focus compared to the other birds). Often uses shallow freshwater lakes and ponds on migration. These ducks are also known as the Blue Bills. The greater scaup (Aythya marila), just scaup in Europe or, colloquially, "bluebill" in North America, is a mid-sized diving duck, larger than the closely related lesser scaup.It spends the summer months breeding in Alaska, northern Canada, Siberia, and the northernmost reaches of Europe.During the winter, it migrates south to the coasts of North America, Europe, and Japan. During winter, look for Lesser Scaup on lakes, reservoirs, coastal bays, and estuaries. Maybe scaup won’t win the duck beauty contest, but they’re exceptionally pretty birds. Flock of Lesser Scaup flyhing low over rough water. Scaups are mostly silent. Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Lesser Scaup. Denham Springs, LA. And actually, as writers have pointed out, many of each clan exhibit both colors. From afar flocks might just look like floating mats of vegetation on the water. Nonbreeding males look like a cross between a female and a breeding male: a mottled brown-and-gray body and a blackish head. A drake lesser’s head often shimmers with iridescent purple tones, and a greater’s shows hidden shades of green. Found on lakes and ponds during migration and winter. Winters on lakes, reservoirs, rivers, sheltered areas of coastal bays. Hiding a checklist will exclude the taxa on it from all forms of eBird output that show a location (including bar charts, maps, and arrival/departure tables), but the observation will still be accessible to you, and will appear on your lists. A closer look reveals black-and-white males and chocolatey-brown females floating on the surface and diving below to eat aquatic invertebrates and plants. a drake lesser scaup duck flying over a canal with cat-tails on the edge. The female makes a hoarse can-can-can or a barking garf, garf, garf that is higher and softer than the female greater scaup’s. In Missouri, we usually only see them in spring and fall as they migrate. Marsh ponds (summer), lakes, bays, estuaries. Glossy black head, front, and rear with a gray back and white sides. This photo clearly shows the angular head shape that distinguishes lesser scaup from greater scaup. Plumage: Males have a very light gray body, blackish chest, and black-appearing head glossed with purple. Lesser Scaup Other notes: The best time to review the shape of the head is when the ducks are loafing around or napping. During spring and fall migrations, these waterfowl are seen in very large rafts on lakes and rivers. A diet heavy with mussels contaminated with cadmium, selenium, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other pollutants may be impairing the ducks' ability to reproduce. Though a scarce breeding bird in Britain, it is much more regular in winter, when numbers are boosted by continental migrants. Basic Description. The majority of lesser scaup migrate through the Central and Mississippi Flyways to wintering areas along the Gulf of Mexico and coastal Florida. Different songbirds will have a slightly different wing shape. courtship flight of lesser scaup ducks so the hen can choose a mate. Credit Photographer for usage. The species can weigh 454–1,089 g (1.001–2.401 lb); males weigh 820 g (1.81 lb) on average and weigh noticeably less, at 730 g (1.61 lb) on average. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. Common migrant. Overlaps extensively with Greater Scaup, especially in winter, but at that season the Lesser is far more likely to be found on freshwater lakes and ponds well inland. Females are rich brown overall, with a darker head and white patch next to the bill. a courtship flight of lesser scaup ducks in early spring where males compete to mate with the hen. Summers around large marshes in prairie or forested regions. (photo by Matt Grube) Male Lesser Scaup – a gorgeous bird with glossy purple-black head and breast, white sides and marbled grey back, blue bill and bright yellow eyes. In lesser scaup, the adult male’s head is angular or peaked, not rounded as in the greater scaup, and it has a purple (not green) sheen. Lesser Scaup Pictured Right: Male and female lesser scaup with varying plumage, distance and behavior (flying, etc.). The other post is Jochen’s tale of trying to find a Lesser Scaup in Europe. Lesser scaup are common migrants in Missouri and are more common than the closely related, similar-looking greater scaup. Similar species: The closely related greater scaup is a rare migrant in Missouri. We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. Wing lengths (not wingspans) are about 7.5–7.9 in (19–20 cm) in males and 7.3–7.8 in (19–20 cm) in females; the tarsus is about 1.4–1.5 in (3.6–3.8 cm) long, and the bill 1.4–1.7 in (3.6–4.3 cm). Lesser Scaup flying (Aythya affinis) over prairie pothole. When they’re active—feeding, flying, etc.—they move their necks, which makes it difficult to choose between round or narrow. SW-63 can be used for multiple species Common Goldeneye (Medium) Greater Scaup (Sm-Med) Lesser Scaup (Med-Large) Redhead (Small) Flying Bird Body Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Compared to dabbling ducks, their wings are smaller relative to their body weight. See the paragraph above for how to distinguish between the two. Jan 23, 2018 - Explore Bo Nielsen's board "Lesser Scaup" on Pinterest. Weight-1 "Va Hen Eclipse Drake Except for the wing marks, greater and lesser scaup appear nearly Identical In the field. Medium-sized diving duck with a tall, peaked head. During migration and winter, Lesser Scaup form large flocks on lakes, bays, rivers, and larger wetlands. Occurs in lakes, ponds, rivers, or reservoirs, in areas free from emergent aquatic vegetation and ice. But other ducks have a wide range of noises and calls that they make. But researchers worry that ducks feasting on these mussels may be harmed in the long run, because the filter-feeding mussels collect and concentrate pollutants in their tissues. - lesser scaup stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images. Wing Shape. Soaring birds have long, broad wings. The female lesser scaup is brown, with white around the base of the bill, giving it a "white face," similar to the greater scaup female. This video is unavailable. Fresh and brackish water wetlands and open bays are preferred wintering habitats. Medium-sized diving duck with a tall, peaked head and a fairly straight bill. See more ideas about waterfowl, duck, birds. They acquire yellow eyes with age. Tight-knit groups of Lesser Scaup congregate on large lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries during migration and winter, sometimes by the thousands. Tufted Duck generally shuns the coast, but is reliably found in any freshwater habitat with water deep enough. About 350 species of birds are likely to be seen in Missouri, though nearly 400 have been recorded within our borders. The white wing stripe is restricted to the secondary wing feathers; the wing stripe on the primaries is gray. Image Credit: Richard Crossley - www.crossleybooks.com They are more likely to use inland lakes than Greater Scaup. They tend to form tight groups and mix with other diving ducks such as Canvasbacks, Redheads, Greater Scaup, and Ring-necked Ducks. Scaup Greater-Length-18 V2 in. lesser_scaup_flying_eagle_bluffs_2-23-15.jpg, Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Note the peaked head and that the back of the head is flat. A closer look reveals black-and-white males and chocolatey-brown females floating on the surface and diving below to eat aquatic invertebrates and plants. 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