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Duck ID Help, China (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
We recorded this duck yesterday at Shandong province with dozens of Tufted Ducks around. The white area around the bill is large and looks like a Greater Scaup, but the pattern of the bill and the shape of the head is much like a Tufted Duck, and the upperparts also doesn't seem to have greyish vermiculations.
So what is it?
Only this three images.
Thank you!


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Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
I have never seen a Tufted with that much white on the face but it does not look like a Scaup on other features.

Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
Well, greater scaup can show this bill pattern

and can look surprisingly dark on the back in some photos without clear vermiculations especially on a slightly blurry photo,
The amount of white on the head would be unusual on tufted duck

On balance I think from these photos it looks more like greater scaup to me than hybrid scaup x tufted or tufted duck , even though the head shape is a bit odd.
A furtehr good point in favour of Aythya marila would be if it appeared a bit larger than Tufted ducks in average though there´s some overlap


Well-known member
Thank you!
So, when the white area around the bill is large enough, even if there are no clear greyish vermiculations on the whole body, it is more likely to be a Greater Scaup?

Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
There are other features also like the bill size and shape, iris color etc . headshape, sometimes size, However fine vermiculations can be nearly invisible on some photos and how pronounced they are can also be influenced by time of the year (wear on feathers) ...

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