Greater Scaup
Aythya marila

– medium-sized duck, slightly smaller than Mallard
– nocturnal/diurnal migrant
– migrates in small to large flocks, in loose formation


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
BIF2065, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– typical dark and white Aythya-silhoutte
– AD M with sharp border between black breast and white belly
– 2CY (first winter) M (centre left) with more diffuse border between black head, neck and breast, and white belly


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
BIF2066, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– F dark brown with distinct white ring at the base of the bill
– plumage not as cleanly patterned as M


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
BIF2067, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– against the sky colour not easy to distinguish but F show partly dark flanks


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
BIF2072, 16/12/2016, North Sea, offshore, Roland Neumann
– migrants at dusk: main features are still recognisable (grey back and upperwing coverts in M, large white ring around base of bill in F)


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra, M F
BIF2073, 16/12/2016, North Sea, offshore, Roland Neumann
– migrants at dusk: flocks usually rather dense


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M (centre)
BIF2068, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– M of Tufted Duck and Greater Scaup are readily identified when upperside is visible
– white wingbar in both species fades to grey towards wingtip


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, M (centre)
BIF2069, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– from below, almost impossible to separate these two species using plumage alone
– note tuft and slightly smaller size and more compact silhouette of Tufted Duck


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
BIF2070, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– at distance and against the sky very difficult to determine sex


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
BIF2071, 02/01/2018, Rerik, Germany, Roland Neumann
– on flights between feeding and resting grounds, flocks often appear jumbled-up


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
BIF2142, 14/02/2018, Kühlungsborn, Germany, Roland Neumann
– flocks on migration are undulating and not particularly tidy


Greater Scaup Aythya m. marila, M F
BIF2143, 14/02/2018, Kühlungsborn, Germany, Roland Neumann
– in bright sunlight above water the white bodyparts strongly blow out resulting in a largely white appearance
– F seem to be white-headed

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
Ferruginous Duck (v)
Tufted Duck (v)
Lesser Scaup (v)
Ring-necked Duck (v)

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