December 29, 2014

Lesser Scaup (?)

Had a hard time deciding if this was a lesser or greater scaup.
Lesser have a slight bump or peak on back of head.
The greater has a more rounded head.
While this one looks rounded other photos of the birds showed the more characteristics of a lesser.
For me the definitive id is the white on the underside of the wing, the lessers white stops halfway to the wing tip and the greater goes almost to the tip.
They weren't flying so I couldn't tell.
You birders out there should feel free to add your thoughts.

Aythya affinis

Lesser Scaup chicks are capable of diving underwater on their hatching day, but they are too buoyant to stay under for more than just a moment. By the time they are 5 to 7 weeks old they are able to dive for 2-25 seconds and swim underwater for 15-18 meters (50-60 ft).


Blake A. Mann said...

Medium Scaup!
Looks like a Greater.

Allen Woodliffe said...

It's a Greater. The rounded head is one clue, but when seen from this angle, the wide black tip of the bill also points to Greater. Lessers have a much narrower black tip.

Rondeau Ric said...

Thanks Blake and Allen.