Greater vs Lesser Scaup

Greater vs Lesser Scaup

Many birders find it difficult to identify which Scaup they see. You really do have to get a good look at the bird before you can say for sure just which one it is!

The other day while I was at the wildlife refugee, my husband spotted a flock of Scaups in a small pond. I got out of the car some distance away as to not scare them off.

I walked a few steps and took some photos, then a few steps more, then more photos…

There was one group of about 20 and then a separate group of 4. I made sure to get photos of both groups.

Here is what I saw.

These are Greater Scaups. They were in the smaller group, swimming off to the side of the bigger group. Luckily I was able to get these photos, so that I could do my “homework” and study them on my computer when I got home.

Take a good look at their heads, that is where you’ll find the best way to identify the Scaups. The Greater Scaup has a more rounded head with the higher point in the front. The Lesser Scaup’s highest point of its head is toward the back.

Here are a few Lesser Scaups.

Do you see the difference? Sometimes its hard to get a good look at them when you’re out walking, that’s why I take the photos.

Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!