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Yet again - tufted or scaup - Western Isles, Scotland (1 Viewer)

Came across this bird yesterday on the Western Isles, Scotland. From the eye color (not very yellow) and overall plumage I assume this is a juvenile, so maybe some features might not yet be as developed as on and adult bird. The bill doesn't show the small, black tip of a scaup, but it seems pretty massive for a tufted. The white on the bill base seems too small for a scaup. And yet, being familiar with tufted ducks, this one seemed "odd". I'm nevertheless leaning towards tufted, but would appreciate confirmation.

Thanks, Simon


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Well-known member
It looks like a juv tufted to me. Not sure where you photographed this but tufted duck is a very common breeding species in the Uists & Barra and fairly common on the more lowland lochs in Lewis & Harris. Scaup bred in very small numbers historically up to the early 1900s but not confirmed since, more recently occasionally males have been seen apparently paired to tufted ducks but no hybrids confirmed.

cheers, Andrew


Well-known member
What's going on with it's bill?
Is it normal for a juv. to have such a thick and stubby looking bill?
I cannot say I've seen a Scaup like this, but I also don't have much experience with Tufted

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