The Greater Scaup is very similar in appearance
to its close cousin, the Lesser Scaup, but
is generally found further north in the summer, is only rarely found very far
inland in winter, and can also be found in northern Europe and Asia. See
notes below for differentiating between Greater and Lesser Scaup.
on lakes and bogs near the treeline during the summer breeding season. In
winter, found mainly on coastal estuaries and bays, with smaller numbers on
Diet: Feeds heavily on mollusks, including snails, clams,
oysters, and mussels, as well as crustaceans and insects. Also feeds on
Behavior: A diving duck, primarily foraging by
diving from the water's surface and swimming underwater for food items.
They will also sometimes act like dabbling ducks, swimming on the water's
surface and grabbing food items from the surface or by dipping the head
below the surface.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota.
Song: Generally quiet, but with
a loud scaup note, as well as soft whistling by the courting male..
Migration: Summers in Northern Canada and Alaska.
Winters along both the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines of North America.
Similar Species: Lesser
Scaup, Ring-necked Duck.
Scaup is extremely similar to Lesser Scaup, but
with a different head shape (more rounded, highest point near front of head), a
larger bill, and a longer white wing stripe visible in flight.
Conservation Status: Generally abundant and stable throughout most of its range.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Greater Scaup"
Photo Information: May 1st, 2009 -
Lake Thompson, South Dakota - Terry
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Greater Scaup photos.