Adults have a blue bill and yellow eyes. Adult males have a dark head with a green sheen, a black breast, a light back, a black tail and a white bottom. Adult females have a white band at the base of the bill and a brown head and body. They are larger than the Lesser Scaup.
Their breeding habitat is lakes and bogs across northern North America, Europe and Asia. They are found on the tundra and at the northern limits of the boreal forest. They nest on the ground near water, sometimes in small loose colonies.
Greater and lesser scaup are diving ducks that arrive from Alaska and from Canada's boreal regions to their wintering grounds here on the Atlantic coast, where they feed on clams and other animals and plants.
Greater and lesser scaup, which often spend time together in the Harbor Bight area, raise their young in different places, with greaterscaup nesting on tundra -- mostly in Alaska -- and lesser scaup scattering more widely to breed, from Quebec to the prairie pothole region to the Arctic circle.
Greaterscaup are at risk from the usual suspects -- habitat loss, pollution, disturbance, overharvesting and predation -- and their fondness for an invertebrate diet may be making them particularly vulnerable to water contaminated with toxins, which accumulate in their bodies when they feed in polluted areas like the Harbor Bight.
Scaup is the most common of the small New Zealand ducks and is still found in many parts of the country, although its numbers have been greatly reduced compared with earlier days and in spite of hydro lakes offering additional habitat...
The more common of the two Scaup species to migrate through the state, as the GreaterScaup is generally more common along the coast.
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