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[19][24] The vulnerable small chicks follow their mother, who protects them from predators.[24]. 1992). Timing and Routes of Migration. Aythya marila. Characteristics and Range The Greater Scaup closely resembles the Lesser Scaup in all plumages, but is slightly larger and more heavily built; both sexes are usually distinguishable by the lower, more rounded head profile and more extensive white in the two-tone wing stripes (visible in flight). [24] Pairs nest in close proximity to each other in large colonies, usually near water, on an island or shoreline, or on a raft of floating vegetation. They are found along the coast of South Carolina in winter only. Greater scaup eat aquatic molluscs, plants, and insects, which they obtain by diving underwater. Greater Scaup. [15] They mainly eat molluscs, aquatic plants, and aquatic insects. Dispersal and Site Fidelity. Mani-toba is an excellent place to find some of the “most wanted” species in North America, such as Spruce and Sharp-tailed Grouse, Yellow Rail, They typically nest on islands in large northern lakes. overview; data; media; articles; maps; names In The birds of North America, No. The Greater Scaup is a medium sized diving duck is one of the few ducks with a circumpolar distribution and is found across Eurasia as well as North America. In winter mainly on coastal bays, lagoons, estuaries; some on lakes inland. Several males may court one female. Although the two scaup can be difficult to tell apart, any very large flock of scaup on the northeast coast in winter may be assumed to be the Greater. Greater scaup are a popular game bird in North America and Europe. The lakes chosen are used yearly by the same ducks. Languages. Of the 391 confirmed species included in this checklist, at least 306 occur regularly and 287 have bred in the province. In America and Canada, waterfowl must be hunted with non-toxic shot. Populations have been declining significantly for the last few decades. The female is dull brown with a white patch on the face at base of bill. [21][22], In North America, the greater scaup summers in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ungava Bay, Hudson Bay, Lake Winnipeg, northern Yukon, northern Manitoba, and northern Saskatchewan. The species name marila is from the Greek word for charcoal embers or coal dust. Characteristics and Range Well named for its smaller size and somewhat lighter build than the Greater Scaup, this species is best identified by head shape rather than plumage details. The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Oil and sewage pollution also threaten this duck. [19], Greater scaup breed in the tundra and the boreal forest; it is estimated that 75% of the North American population breed in Alaska. But that's because they were describing two different birds. Banks (1986) found that the Greater Scaup breeding and wintering in East Asia were indistinguishable from the pale backed nominate A. m. marila of Europe and this conclusion has been adopted by Clements and BNA. [31] Greater scaup often find themselves entangled in fishing nets, thus large numbers of them drown in nets each year. [18], Although the greater scaup faces numerous threats, the most significant challenge to their survival is habitat degradation caused by a mix of human development and runoff. They congregate by the hundreds and thousands along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts during winter. These banding programs yield valuable data about migration patterns, harvest rates, and survival rates.[35]. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. The optimal molting lake is fairly shallow and has an abundance of food sources and cover. The greater scaup has a large range globally. Nest is a shallow depression, lined with dead plant material and with down. affinis. Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives. I moved the sentence in question to before the description of the drake, so it is now right after wingspan and weight sentence.-- Lakes, rivers, salt bays, estuaries. Lesser and greater scaup are counted together in annual aerial surveys because the two species are hard to distinguish at a distance. Greater Scaup: Breeds within the Arctic Circle, both in the Palearctic and North America. It is also found in Asia and is present in the Aleutian Islands year round. Spread the word. [15] The male has a dark head with a green sheen, a black breast, a light back, a black tail, and a white underside. Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species' range and habitat requirements; ... 2002. It’s the least you can do. During the winter, it migrates south to the coasts of North America, Europe, and Japan. [15] After the female lays the eggs, the drake abandons the female[24] and goes with other drakes to a large, isolated lake to molt. Let us send you the latest in bird and conservation news. Greater Scaup (Aythya marila). Habitat in Nonbreeding Range. It is a circumpolar species, which means that its range circles one of Earth's poles. Movement. Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures. Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), version 1.0. The Greater Scaup is 20 per cent heavier and 10 per cent longer than the closely related Lesser Scaup], Sentence order, this "breaks" into the middle of your dialog on male characteristics. Greater scaup prefer large open water areas; lesser scaup often use marshes and ponds. So what’s a bewildered scaup watcher to do? Legs and feet of both sexes are gray. When a flock is feeding on waters where a tide is running, the birds generally face up-current; there may be a continuous shifting as birds from the back of the flock take off and fly to the front, so that the flock stays in roughly the same position despite the down-current tidal drift of individuals. Summary 7 The Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), just Scaup in Europe, or colloquially "Bluebill" in North America for its bright blue bill, is a mid-sized diving duck though it is larger than the closely related Lesser Scaup. https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/greater-scaup Audubon and his rival, Alexander Wilson, disagreed about the habits of scaup ducks. [2] During aerial population surveys greater and lesser scaup are counted together, because they look almost identical from the air. Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future. The Prairie Prestige digital collection will demonstrate how western Canadian artists influenced artists throughout Canada and around the world. Or take action immediately with one of our current campaigns below: The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to more than 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. In winter, it migrates down the coasts of North America, Europe, and Japan. A phylogenetic analysis of the diving ducks, examining the skeletal anatomy and skin, found that the greater and lesser scaups are each other's closest relatives, with the tufted duck as the next closest relative of the pair.[14]. Greater scaups have an average length of 18 ½ inches and an average weight of 2 pounds. Aythya affinis Traditionally, lesser scaup (a.k.a. Lesser Scaups have an average length of 17 inches and an average weight of 1 7/8 pounds. Here, black-and-white males and chocolatey-brown females bob along on the waves. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and American Ornithologists’ Union. The Greater breeds primarily in the far north on tundra lakes and ponds. Greater scaup populations have been declining since the 1980s; however, they are still listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. Greater scaup. The type locality is Lapland. [33] There was no difference in concentration when comparing genders. Greater scaup. Bald Eagle. 650 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). The eggs hatch in 24 to 28 days. It is estimated that three-quarters of the North American population breeds in Alaska. It was estimated that the greater scaup made up about 11% of the continental scaup population. The greater scaup (Aythya marila), just scaup in Europe or, colloquially, "bluebill" in North America, is a mid-sized diving duck, larger than the closely related lesser scaup. Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The Greater Scaup is 20 per cent heavier and 10 per cent longer than the closely related Lesser Scaup], Sentence order, this "breaks" into the middle of your dialog on male characteristics. [23] During the summer months, the greater scaup will eat small aquatic crustaceans. Greater scaup nest near water, typically on islands in northern lakes or on floating mats of vegetation. Nest site usually very close to water on island, shoreline, or mats of floating vegetation. Movements and Migration. [27] A larger clutch could indicate brood parasitism by other greater scaups or even ducks of other species. When flocks are on flowing water, they will face the current, and as the ducks float backwards, some fly to the front of the flock to maintain position. However excessive selenium can cause reproductive harm and is highly toxic. blue bill) have been one of the most abundant ducks in North America; however, over the last 20 years, the duck population has spiraled downward. During spring and fall migrations, these waterfowl are seen in very large rafts on lakes and rivers. There are, however, a number of differences. The head of the greater tends to be more rounded, and the white wing stripe is more extensive. Learn more about these drawings. The eyes are yellow and the bill is blue-gray with a black tip. This map depicts the range boundary, defined as the areas where the species is estimated to occur at a rate of 5% or more for at least one week within each season. Female greater scaup have a single pitch, a raspy “arrr-arrr-arrr-arrr-arrr” vocalization. The nest consists of a shallow depression made by the female and lined with her down. The upper wing has a white stripe starting as the speculum and extending along the flight feathers to the wingtip. Its neck, breast, and tail feathers are a glossy black, while its lower flanks are vermiculated gray. The Greater Scaup differs from the Lesser Scaup in its rounder head, larger bill, and breeding habitat—it nests on large lakes in relatively open areas, overlapping with the northern edge of the Lesser Scaup’s range. The Audubon climate model shows a decrease in available summer climate space by 2080. Greater scaups have a more northern range and are more likely found in saltwater marine habitats and larger bodies of water. Photo: Dick Dickinson/Audubon Photography Awards, Molting male. Occasionally forages by dabbling or up-ending in shallow water. May feed at any time of day, or at night, with timing affected by tides in coastal regions. Latin: Aythya marila Average length: M 18.6", F 17" Average weight: M 2.32 lbs., F 2.15 lbs. Lesser Scaups have an average length of 17 inches and an average weight of 1 7/8 pounds. [36] They are hunted in Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, the United Kingdom, and Ireland,[36] and in Iran for both sport and commercial reasons. 7-9, sometimes 5-11. Recent. Female leads young to water shortly after hatching; 2 or more broods may join, tended by 1 or more females. Female chooses nest site and builds nest. Greater scaup begin breeding when they are two years old, although they may start nesting at age one. It will demonstrate how western Ca It is more associated with salt water than the more abundant Lesser Scaup.. The causes for these declines are not well understood, but pollution in coastal areas could be one factor. The native Ringed-necked Duck and the vagrant Tufted Duck have similar coloured plumages. The only circumpolar diving duck, the Greater Scaup breeds across the tundra regions in North America and Europe. Round-headed diving duck. Metal leg bands are placed on them, so that if the scaup is killed by a hunter or if it is captured by another banding group, the number on the band can be reported to biologists and wildlife organizations. In North America, they breed in Alaska, across northern Canada (including around Hudson Bay), and out to the Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland. The greater scaup dive to obtain food, which they eat on the surface. Young feed themselves, are capable of flight 40-45 days after hatching. Size: True to its name, the greater scaup is the larger bird at 18 to 20 inches in length, while lesser scaups are 16 to 18 inches long.While size can be challenging to judge in the field, this can be a useful comparison in a mixed scaup flock or when comparing to other duck species where the sizes are known. [37] In most countries where greater scaup are hunted, a duck stamp is required along with the normal hunting licences that are required to pursue other game. Photo: Howard Arndt/Audubon Photography Awards, Great Egret. Size is one, as lesser scaup are about 20 percent smaller than greater scaup. Photo: Janet Covel/Great Backyard Bird Count. Some of the primary factors contributing to this decline are habitat loss, contaminants, changes in breeding habitat, and a lower female survival rate. Incubation is by female only, 24-28 days. It spends the summer months in Alaska, Siberia, and the northern parts of Europe. Appearance The breeding male scaup sports a black-purple glossed (and slightly peaked) head, a blue bill, a grey and white back and a short … The genus name Aythya is derived from the Ancient Greek aithuia which refers to a seabird mentioned by Aristotle and others and is thought to refer to a duck, auklet or other seabird. I moved the sentence in question to before the description of the drake, so it is now right after wingspan and weight sentence.-- Visit your local Audubon center, join a chapter, or help save birds with your state program. English Articles. The adult greater scaup is 39–56 cm (15–22 in) long with a 71–84 cm (28–33 in) wingspan and a body mass of 726–1,360 g (1.601–2.998 lb). We protect birds and the places they need. The drake or male greater scaup is larger and has a more rounded head than the female. Hunters frequently use decoys to attract the birds, often arranged to simulate a raft of greater scaup and featuring an open area to attract the birds to land. [18] The summer habitat is marshy lowland tundra and islands in fresh water lakes. The down-covered ducklings are able to follow their mother in her search for food immediately after hatching. Olive buff. [30] The greater scaup forms large flocks, some of which can contain thousands of birds. Greater Scaup tend to choose saltwater bodies, while Lesser Scaup are found in freshwater zones further inland. The Greater Scaup is the more common of the two scaup in the northern United States, where it is usually seen in large rafts, often composed of thousands of birds, on large lakes or coastal bays. Drake greater scaup are larger and have more rounded heads than the females; they have a bright blue bill and yellow eyes. Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) Male Range: NA, EU info Photo by Mick Thompson / Eastside Audubon Lake Sammamish State Park Issaquah, Washington State, United States [23] The courtship is complex and results in the formation of monogamous pairs. [11][12] Based on size differences, a Pleistocene paleosubspecies, Aythya marila asphaltica, has also been described by Serebrovskij in 1941 from fossils recovered at Binagady, Azerbaijan. Improved in 24 Hours. [15] There is a report of four greater scaups in April near Chicago swallowing hibernating leopard frogs (with body length about 5 cm (2.0 in)), which they dredged out of a roadside freshwater pond. Membership benefits include one year of Audubon magazine and the latest on birds and their habitats. A joint group of American and Canadian scientists researching scaup migration across the Great Lakes found that 100% of female greater scaup, and 77% of female lesser scaup, had escalated levels of selenium in their bodies. Lesser scaups are more common in freshwater areas and smaller bodies of water such as park ponds … The 2010 American scaup population survey was 4.2 million scaup,[34] however, the worldwide greater scaup population survey estimated 1,200,000 to 1,400,000 mature greater scaup. In the summer, they breed on marshy, lowland tundra at the northern limits of the boreal forest. The adult female has a brown body and head, with white wing markings similar to those of the male but slightly duller. Here, black-and-white males and chocolatey-brown females bob along on the waves. Young: female leads young to water shortly after hatching; 2 or more broods may join, tended by 1 or more females. Geographic Range. In the fall, greater scaup populations start their migration south for the winter. Abundance and Range Lesser scaup breed in western North America, Alaska and Canada to Arizona and Colorado, and winter in the southern and western U.S., the Great Lakes, the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, and … Other individuals can be a greater challenge. It has a blue bill and yellow eyes and is 20% heavier and 10% longer than the closely related lesser scaup. Still, there’s quite a bit of overlap in their ranges, especially in the summer when Greaters hang out in lakes and bogs, in addition to their regular seaside dives. Range. It has a rapid direct flight with strong, quick wing beats. [19] Greater scaup are hunted with shotguns because they must be shot on the fly, a challenging task, as they can fly at up to 121 km/h (75 mph). It’s a challenging ID, but head shape can take you a long way. [10] The subspecific classification of East Asian birds is uncertain as different authors have designated them as either race, or a third subspecies A. m. mariloides, though the latter name has been deemed invalid due to being used as a synonym for the Lesser Scaup A.

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