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Lesser Scaup - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Marysan
San Diego, California, November 2003
Aythya affinis


39-46 cm.

  • Slight bump or peak on back of head


  • Bill blue with small black tip
  • Black head, chest, and rear end
  • Grey sides


Photo by panthers1
Surrey Lake, Surrey, BC Canada, Fall 2004

Drabber and brown with white patch at base of bill.

Similar Species

The Greater Scaup is essentially identical in all plumages, but the head shape is slightly different, with a peak on the forehead instead of behind the eye. The bill in the Greater is also longer and wider. These differences can be quite difficult to discern, so range and habitat are often better determinates. Female Tufted Duck can show similar white face.

Beware male hybrid Tufted x Pochard and Tufted x Greater Scaup


North America: Alaska to southern US; winters northern South America and Hawaiian Islands.

Vagrants regularly arrive in Europe


This is a monotypic species[1].


Fresh water.



They nest in a sheltered location on the ground close to water.


Includes molluscs and aquatic plants.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

Recommended Citation

External Links

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