Date: 3/28/21 8:10 pm
From: Roy Lowe <roy.loweiii...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Is this a juvenile ring necked duck or something else?
I banded nearly a thousand scaup on San Pablo Bay in 1979. To insure we recorded the correct species we followed that bird banding manual which indicated the exclusive way to separate the two species was to measure the width of the nail of the bill just as Lars said. After measuring the first 40 or so birds we banded all were lesser scaup with narrower nails so I quit measuring. A few birds later my co-worker handed me another scaup and the bird felt noticeably larger in my hand so I measured the nail and sure enough it was a greater. After that I could tell when I had a greater in my hand just by how it fit. I doubt that you can tell size accurately by sight but it was easy in hand when handling a lot of them.

Roy Lowe
Waldport, OR

> On Mar 28, 2021, at 5:05 PM, larspernorgren <larspernorgren...> wrote:
>
> 
> My father and uncle hunted Scaup on Long Island Sound in the 50s. Conservation officers used calipers to measure the characteristic described by Ed as their exclusive means to distinguish Greater from Lesser. The water in the photo seems very shallow, which Lessers frequent and Greaters avoid.
>
>
>
> Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
>
> -------- Original message --------
> From: ed mcv <ed.mcvicker...>
> Date: 3/28/21 4:49 PM (GMT-08:00)
> To:
> Cc: obOL <obol...>
> Subject: [obol] Re: Is this a juvenile ring necked duck or something else?
>
> i would call this a lesser scaup based on the relatively small, narrow bill nail. greater scaup have a much more prominent dark bill nail that has been described as the bird wearing lipstick. bit of an exaggeration but still a reliable characteristic for differentiating greater v. lesser. head shape and color can vary but the bill nail remains fixed. here's a good look for comparison.
>
> ed mcvicker
>
>> On Sun, Mar 28, 2021 at 2:00 PM Harry Fuller <atowhee...> wrote:
>> can't see head shape but this is female scaup...Greaters have round heads while the more-often shallow-water
>> tolerant Lessers have angle at back of the head
>>
>>> On Sun, Mar 28, 2021 at 1:17 AM joy shreyer <dmarc-noreply...> wrote:
>>> We saw this duck along with a male and female ring necked duck on Monday March 22 at Ridgefield NWR in WA. But not sure of its identity.
>>> Joy Shreyer
>>> Silverton
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Harry Fuller
>> author of: San Francisco's Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars:
>> https://ecowise.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/sfnh/
>> author of Great Gray Owls of CA-OR-WA: https://ecowise.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/the-great-gray-owl-book/
>> author of Freeway Birding: freewaybirding.com
>> birding website: http://www.towhee.net
>> my birding blog: atowhee.wordpress.com

 
Join us on Facebook!