Date: 1/24/18 9:51 pm
From: Laurens Halsey <desert-harrier...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] (SEAZ-Tucson area) Kennedy Lake Greater Scaup identification (long)
A female Greater Scaup was first reported to eBird & photographed on Oct 28,
2017 at the Kennedy Park Lake and reported & photographed many times since.
All the photographs submitted to eBird indicate one bird is involved. This
particular bird has a peculiar feature that helps us individualize this bird
though does not help in identifying it to a species. This bird shows a small
white spot behind & slightly below the eyes symmetrically on either side of
the head.

The species identification of this reported Greater Scaup at Kennedy Park
has been questioned by several knowledgeable & experienced reviewers based
on reviews of photographs. The main feature that got the attention of the
reviewers was the size of this bird. Several of the photographs show this
bird to be smaller than a Redhead and about the same size as an American
Coot. A Greater Scaup should be about the same size as a Redhead and
noticeably larger than a Coot. A closer look at the photographs reveal other
features not lining up with this bird being a Greater Scaup. The bill shape
and proportions are not a good match as the flaring of the bill is only
slight and the nail is not that large. Also the head shape in many of the
photographs is not good for Greater Scaup as this bird often shows a
flattish crown, peak of the crown towards the rear, and none of the head-on
views show the puffed out cheeks or jowls as discussed in the article link
below. The bill pattern, namely the amount of black at the tip of the bill
appears to be a useless discriminator for female scaup. The pattern on their
bills is virtually the same on the two species. For a more information
pertaining to separating the two species of North American scaup, see this
<> .

Since there is much suspicion that this individual is not a Greater Scaup,
it is suggested that those of us that submitted this bird to eBird as a
≥Greater Scaup≤ change the submission to ≥Greater/Lesser Scaup≤.



Laurens Halsey
Green Valley, AZ

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