caseygirard: The Scaup!  This bird is difficult to identify…


The Scaup! 

This bird is difficult to identify against the Lesser Scaup. They both have generally the same coloring and patterns. The differences are slight and take training your eye to see them easily. When I first encountered Scaup, I called my Mom who knows ducks because I was exasperated. She sent me a brochure that explains all of the differences. 

Generally, the Lesser Scaup’s head has a purple shine when it catches the sun and the Greater Scaup has a green shine. The Greater Scaup has a more rounded head, where the Lesser has almost a crest, giving it a pointy head. Their body has a greyish top and white bottom half, on the Greater Scaup this is more defined and the white is whiter. Another helper is Lesser Scaup are more often on fresh water vs salt water but, this can easily fail to be a true signifier as they can be on either kind of water. 

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