[Tweeters] any scaup identification experts?
Clarence C. Lupo
Gos at tds.net
Thu Feb 28 19:09:42 PST 2008
Unfortunately most folks don't respond; just read.
Clarence C. Lupo
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Reding" <aareding at gmail.com>
To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:54 PM
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] any scaup identification experts?
> Hi again tweeter-folk,
> Here is a summary of the responses. As might have been expected for such a
> difficult identification, it was close.
> Out of nine responses, 5 opted for Lesser Scaup, and 4 for Greater Scaup.
> John Tubbs wrote:
> I believe you have a Greater Scaup in the image. My disclaimer is that
> a single image isn't always definitive (I say this despite being an
> intense bird photographer, and feeling images have a ton of value in
> certain situations).
> 1.) Greater Scaup tend to have greenish tinges to their head when seen
> in the right light. Lesser Scaup tend to have purplish tinges. Often
> in our typical light in the northwest, neither color shows up. Here the
> green is obvious. 2.) The head shape isn't as high, rounded or with a
> somewhat 'peaked'
> look that Lesser's typically have - along with the neck tending to be
> held higher with Lessers. Although this bird appears to have a slight
> peak at the rear of the head, most Lessers have a forward slope to the
> top of their head in addition to being more rounded. In other words,
> the head slopes from the back to the front. Here, to my eye, the head
> looks relatively flat, larger and less rounded than Lessers.
> 3.) The bill size. It's really obvious when you have a head-on look at
> the bill in relation to head size and profile, but if you study images
> in field guides, this bill definitely looks larger and bulkier than
> Lessers. Although the 'nail' at the tip of the bill is also tough to
> see from this angle image, it looks large to me as well.
> So...I would say Greater.
> Mason Flint wrote:
> That's an interesting shot. From a head shape perspective the bird seems
> be a bit more like a Lesser Scaup...more angular...but that could be due
> the head being wet or some other reason. The slight dinginess of the
> the large bill and the apparent greenish gloss to the head make me think
> Greater Scaup rather than Lesser. This just goes to show that Scaup ID is
> sometimes tough even under good circumstances.
> Rachel Lawson wrote:
> It does look like a Lesser Scaup. The color of the head can be
> variable, but the steep forehead and the little bump on the nape (where
> the tuft would be if it were a Tufted Duck) are characters of Lesser.
> Greater Scaups have a more evenly rounded head, and can look sort of
> flat-headed. Lessers often slick their head feathers back when they are
> diving actively, though.
> Rolan Nelson wrote:
> I think with the crown peak in the middle to foreward part of the head
> like this one, you're looking at a Greater Scaup.
> Dennis Paulson wrote:
> I'd go with a green-tinted Lesser Scaup. Although the bill looks large to
> me too, the nail doesn't look like it has as much black as is typical of
> Greaters (in which more of the black is visible from the side). The body
> color could be either species, in my opinion, as there is much overlap,
> although I think the barring on the back is a bit sparser in Lesser, often
> giving them a whiter appearance.
> Generally in Greater Scaup the head looks longer, so even though the bill
> is large, it looks shorter than the length between the base of the bill
> and the back of the head, while in Lesser the head seems shorter, so the
> bill may be no longer than that length. Your bird matches that, I suppose
> as might be expected with that head shape. I have a lot of photos of
> scaups, and I think the bill looks just about as large in some of the
> Lessers as in your bird. It is a puzzling bird, but I would have called it
> a Lesser in the field. I don't know if there have been hybrids between
> those two species.
> Kelly McAllister wrote:
> I'd love to hear what others think on this scaup. I immediately thought
> Greater when I saw the head sheen but I agree with you that the head shape
> makes it a Lesser Scaup. I struggle mightily with the scaup.
> Matt Pike wrote:
> First off, very nice picture. I am no expert and
> am most interested to see what the "experts" tell you.
> I think you got it though. The shape of the head and
> the fairly extensive gray on the flanks both seem good
> for Lesser. The color of the head is interesting
> though. Thanks for sharing.
> Larry Schwitters wrote:
> I would call it a Greater.
> The green head.
> The head shape may be a little messed up by unruly feathers, but it is
> more Greater shaped.
> It sure has a big bill.
> Nice photo-this is fun stuff.
> Larry Engles wrote:
> You have it correct [lesser scaup].
> Thanks to all of you,
> Andrew Reding
> aareding at gmail.com
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
>> [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Andrew
>> Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 12:10 PM
>> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
>> Subject: [Tweeters] any scaup identification experts?
>> Have i got this one right?
>> Andrew Reding
>> Port Townsend WA
>> aareding at gmail.com
>> Tweeters mailing list
>> Tweeters at u.washington.edu
> Tweeters mailing list
> Tweeters at u.washington.edu
More information about the Tweeters