[Tweeters] Tufted Duck?

Guy McWethy lguy_mcw at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 21 08:58:04 PST 2011

Hi Dennis,.
I emailed Charlie that very same question ...
I agree with his reply:
"Hey Guy, Excellent thought on hybrid, and indeed RNDU x TUDU was my first thought when I got a look at this bird. However I ended up scrutinizing it in the scope and found nothing intermediate. I would expect to see some indication of it being a hybrid in either head shape or bill pattern. The gray flanks on this bird are mottled remnants of either eclipse or juvenile plumage, I'm not sure which. If you have a look at TUDU photos online, many fall birds show that. Here is one sampling: http://www.ejphoto.com/tufted_duck_page.htm

The tuft length I think was fairly normal, though may suggest a young male.
Charlie "

also, here is a link to some pics of a Tufted/Scaup Cross.
  This (and other photos I found), the tuft is short and stubby, not nearly as long as the Puyallup bird.  Also, the back on the hybrid is gray and vermiculated, not the solid black of the Tufted. 
I looked at some pics of Ring-necked/Tufted hybrids, and the whole general shape of this cross is different.  Longer necked, and the bill color and shape seem to be off for Tufted.
I agree with Charlie that this is most likely either a juvenile coming into adult plumage, or an adult still in transition.
I am really hoping it sticks around for a couple of weeks, so we can watch if the tuft grows out, and the gray on the flanks moults to the all white of a Tufted ...
Randy's pics show more details from the Puyallup bird, that make me more comfortable with the Tufted call ....

Guy McWethy
Renton, WA
mailto: lguy_mcw at yahoo.com

From: Ian Paulsen <birdbooker at zipcon.net>
Cc: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2011 10:54 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] Tufted Duck?

A bird reported as a male Tufted Duck has been seen recently at Puyallup,
WA. See Charlie Wright's photo here:


  I was wondering if this could be a scaup x Tufted Duck hybrid? The
black around the nail of the bill doesn't look black enough for a pure
TUDU. Also the crest doesn't look developed enough to be a TUDU. Any


Ian Paulsen
Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
Visit my BIRDBOOKER REPORT blog here:
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