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Sorry, another Scaup ID.


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Southern Ontario a few days ago.

I had posted these birds as Greater, although I did hesitate a little at the time.

I bumped into a fellow local birder today, far more knowledgeable than me. He said he had seen my post but was leaning to Lesser, partly for the barring, but mostly on experience.

Shortly after thinking I had got the hang of Scaup a couple of years ago I realized I wasn't even close - some are straightforward, many not so much.

Interested in opinions from those very experienced with the species. Tony L. is still missed.

Thanks.

Greater Scaup 2m CollHar-7542336.jpg

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Well, since no one else has replied giving ID, I would call these Greater based off of the eye placement. The nail looks to be flared as well, but the bill looks quite messy, and I only have experience with them in their winter plumage. 

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I think the crowns are somewhat flattened and I don’t think bill nail shape can be used here given the plumages these birds are in. But I could be wrong and based on this one photo without getting a better feel for shape and posture may be better left unidentified

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14 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

I think the crowns are somewhat flattened and I don’t think bill nail shape can be used here given the plumages these birds are in. But I could be wrong and based on this one photo without getting a better feel for shape and posture may be better left unidentified

I agree that the bill can’t really be used here with how messy it is. but the head shape looks right on for Greater. To me, Greaters have large, deep heads, looking either blocky or smoothly rounded depending on posture, similar to a Mallard. Lessers have shallower head, and the eye is more centered on the face. They give me the impression of a Ring-necked Duck. 

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