Greater Scaup: Large diving duck with glossy green-black head, white sides and belly, black tail, neck and breast, barred gray flanks and back. Eyes are yellow. Bill is blue-gray with a black tip. Feeds on insects, plants, vertebrates and mollusks. Rapid direct flight with strong rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Greater Scaup: Found in Alaska, northern Canada and along both north American coasts and sometimes along the gulf coasts. Prefers ponds, marshes and lakes.
The Greater Scaup's name may come from its display call of "scaup scaup."
In North America, their population has been on a steady decline since the 1990's. Biologists and conservationists are unsure the reasons for decline. Some researchers believe a parasitic trematode found in snails may be to blame.
Occasionally an older female will have male-like head color and male patterning on her back, but she still has the typical white face patch of a female.
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.