Date: 3/30/21 12:07 am
From: Robert O'Brien <baro...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Nailing Scaup Identification
Forgot the photo

On Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 12:04 AM Robert O'Brien <baro...> wrote:

> As Lars has said, although both are diving ducks, Lesser Scaup seem to
> prefer smaller or at least shallower water while Greater Scaup are the
> opposite.
> These are an interesting pair, identification wise. (Behaviorally as
> well, I would guess, but I don't know anything about that).
> As found in any field guide:
> Lesser Scaup are somewhat smaller with somewhat smaller, narrower bills &
> a smaller nostril, a purplish head reflection, a more peaked head profile,
> sometimes with an apparent indentation on the sides of the head, and a
> shorter wing stripe.
> Greater Scaup the opposite in all respects, a greenish head reflection,
> and a somewhat wider bill and fatter, rounded head.
> The head reflection is quite dependent upon the angle and brightness of
> the sun and can simnply look all dark in poor lighting.
> And then there is the 'tip', which allows nailing the identification.
> Greater Scaup has a much more pronounced, wider nail as Roy has described
> in detail.
> A compromise between the deepwater Columbia and shallower inland ponds is
> perhaps found at Vanport Wetlands, the ponds *west* of the Expo Center,
> that is
> At least these waters (largely unvegetated) are close to the Columbia..
> This is a good place for direct comparison on a lucky day.
> The two attached photos were taken there in late winter last year
> As you can see by the camera's numbering, the photos were taken a minute
> or two apart in good light.
> Their bills are pretty similar, but the Lesser's being somewhat more
> slender; the head peaking is apparent in Lesser. Head
> reflections correspond to above.
> But.....................I'm having a hard time *nailing* this
> identification..
> I am NO scaup expert, I just took their photos. But the nails on this
> pair would likely be the last thing I would rely on.
> Looking forward to comments from Roy and all others.
> Bob OBrien Carver OR

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