Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Aythya affinis’

At this time of the year I am always looking for birds in the waters off of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, like this scaup, a small diving duck, that I spotted on Monday. There is a Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) and a Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) and they are quite similar in appearance.

For the sake of identification, I am going to assume that this is a “Greater” one—I do not want to damage its self-esteem by calling it “Lesser.”

scaup

scaup

scaup

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

Read Full Post »

The wind was blowing strongly on Monday morning, kicking up lots of waves in the waters off of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. In the deeper water I could see a small group of scaups bobbing up and down among the waves. Were they Greater Scaups (Aythya marila) or Lesser Scaups (Aythya affinis)?

I confess that I can’t tell the difference between the two species. I was content to get shots of both genders, especially the female with the distinctive white markings at the base of her bill.

scaup

 

scaup

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

Read Full Post »

I have been seeing increasing numbers of scaups off of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, but they stayed in the deep water, so I never managed to get a close look at them.

I think they are Greater Scaups (Aythya marila), but there is also a chance that they are the similar-looking Lesser Scaups (Aythya affinis). The differences between the two species are subtle enough that I do not feel at all confident in distinguishing between the two. The white stripe behind the bill indicates that the one in the first image is a a female. I think the one on the left in the second photo may be an immature female and the one on the right is almost certainly a female.

Greater Scaup

Greater Scaups

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

Read Full Post »