The Lesser Scaup is one of the most abundant diving ducks in the Northwest. Male Lesser Scaups have white flanks, black rumps and breasts, and lined gray backs. They have purplish-black, iridescent heads and yellow eyes. Their bills are light gray-blue. Males in non-breeding plumage have black heads and breasts, brown bodies, and black rumps. Females are brownish overall, also with yellow eyes, and white at the base of their bills. Greater and Lesser Scaups can be difficult to distinguish in the field. Lesser Scaups average about 10% shorter and 25% lighter than Greater Scaups. The Lesser has a peaked, angular head that the Greater lacks. Seen in flight, the white on the Lesser Scaup’s wings fades to gray in the primaries. In the Greater Scaup, the white extends into the primaries. As always, taking into account habitat, range, and season may help differentiate between the two species, as well as using a field guide and working with experienced observers.

First Sighting of Year

Saturday, October 31, 2015 396€“464 Sabattus Rd Sabattus ME United States
Saturday, October 29, 2016 362€“464 Sabattus Rd Sabattus ME United States
Friday, March 10, 2017 352 Harbor Rd Wells ME United States
Saturday, February 24, 2018 301 Caspian Way Imperial Beach CA United States
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