Lesser Scaup

Hey guys, welcome back. Today the lesser scaup. A bird that is nearly identical to the greater scaup we did some time back. Lesser scaup are diving ducks found on large ponds and reservoirs. They’re found in fresh water more often than greater scaup…usually. As far as telling them apart, it’s rather difficult. Their color patterns are nearly identical, although greater scaup usually have a dark green iridescent head while the lesser typically shows dark purple. The best way to tell them apart is the shape of their head. The lesser scaup usually has a more peaked appearance; less round than the greater.

Lesser scaup winter as far south as Central America, further south than any other diving duck. The young learn to dive sometimes just hours after they hatch! Lesser scaup are some of the most abundant diving ducks in North America, look for them in large groups, especially in winter in the US. Like most diving ducks, lesser scaup feed on crustaceans and small mollusks and other invertebrates.

Lesser scaup are definitely more common here in Ohio in the winter than greater scaup. They were one of the most common, if not the most common diving duck I’ve seen here. In New York City, there were definitely more greater scaup. Guess that helps illustrate the lesser’s freshwater preference mentioned above! Next up we have another waterfowl, this time a grebe! See you then!

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