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are any of these greater scaups?


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13 minutes ago, Aidan B said:

I think C might be a Greater, B is a lesser, and I'm not sure about A

Aidan, you know I'm only trying to learn here, but it seems implicit by your answer that Greaters can sometimes have a purple sheen then, unless I'm seeing something that isn't really there?  I think I remember Sibley's 2nd saying never purple, but could be wrong as always...(head shape on C looks great to me though)

Edited by Caley Thomas 2.0
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15 minutes ago, Caley Thomas 2.0 said:

Aidan, you know I'm only trying to learn here, but it seems implicit by your answer that Greaters can sometimes have a purple sheen then, unless I'm seeing something that isn't really there?  I think I remember Sibley's 2nd saying never purple, but could be wrong as always...(head shape on C looks great to me though)

I don't know if 'purple sheen, is just the way the black head is reflecting the light.  Color sheen on both scaup is of questionable value.  That strong bill-to-forehead angle is a better tool for Greater; compare it with the Lesser in B photo.

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3 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I don't know if 'purple sheen, is just the way the black head is reflecting the light.  Color sheen on both scaup is of questionable value.  That strong bill-to-forehead angle is a better tool for Greater; compare it with the Lesser in B photo.

Useful, that.  Thanks Charlie!

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3 hours ago, Caley Thomas 2.0 said:

Aidan, you know I'm only trying to learn here, but it seems implicit by your answer that Greaters can sometimes have a purple sheen then, unless I'm seeing something that isn't really there?  I think I remember Sibley's 2nd saying never purple, but could be wrong as always...(head shape on C looks great to me though)

Lighting can make colors very misrepresented. Also, my Peterson field guide to advanced birding says that head gloss should NEVER be used to identify a scaup, but let’s say if you see a scaup and your learning lesser, having a purple head gloss can make you lean lesser even more. 

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12 hours ago, Kevin said:

Might be able to learn a greater though.🤔

I can tell a Greater Scaup from a Lesser Yellowlegs, and vice-versa the other way around backwards, but not from a Greater or Least Black-backed Gull 'cause there ain't one.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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14 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

There is no way I could learn any lesser.

Just hang out in online chat forums for a while and you'll start learning lesser. I am certain that is what is happening to everyone reading more than the ID comments in this thread. 🤪

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