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JamesM

Lesser Scaup?

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Hoping that I can confirm that this is a Lesser Scaup based on the peak at the back of the head, and lack of greenish iridescence.  It was very windy today, and coming from behind the bird so that is giving me pause to confirm Lesser.  You will note in the second picture that the feathers on top of the head are clearly being blown up by the wind.  Taken today about 50Kms East of Toronto. 

Male 1.jpg

Male 2.jpg

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On 4/9/2020 at 5:25 PM, JamesM said:

lack of greenish iridescence

Put this out of your mind, now! Iridescent colors are useless for ID in species such as scaup. As example, if this were a scaup in stead of a dabbling duck, hopefully one would not ID it as a Lesser on the strength of the head color!

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/222407001#_ga=2.147272307.557498368.1586487750-1184313056.1549327880

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13 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

Put this out of your mind, now! Iridescent colors are useless for ID in species such as scaup. As example, if this were a scaup in stead of a dabbling duck, hopefully one would not ID it as a Lesser on the strength of the head color!

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/222407001#_ga=2.147272307.557498368.1586487750-1184313056.1549327880

I would argue they aren't completely useless, just a minor piece of information to compliment an ID. For example, both lesser and greater scaup can have greenish iridescence (the visibility of which is often variable depending on the lighting..) making it an unreliable field mark, but only lesser scaup have purplish iridescence (in my understanding).

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6 hours ago, mills0000 said:

I would argue they aren't completely useless, just a minor piece of information to compliment an ID. For example, both lesser and greater scaup can have greenish iridescence (the visibility of which is often variable depending on the lighting..) making it an unreliable field mark, but only lesser scaup have purplish iridescence (in my understanding).

Always nice to see a response that is informative and helpful as opposed to one that is condescending and cantankerous. Thanks, mills0000. 🙂

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