Scaup ID

Duck hunting for diver species like Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ringnecks, Eiders, Goldeneye and other diver ducks.

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Scaup ID

Postby windjammer » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:46 pm

Hey everyone,
I killed this scaup on some catfish ponds in Mississippi this year. We killed a fair number of them, and this is by far the largest body scaup that I harvested. I am curious to get some other hunters' opinions on whether it is a greater or a lesser scaup. I am inclined to lean towards greater, as its head is flat instead of peaked, it was extremely large, and there appears to be white extending into the primaries. The bill was extremely wide, and seemed to have a wider black nail than on lessers. Why I am not positive about my ID of greater is the nail is extremely wide, however i don't see the black "smeared lipstick" effect. Not sure if all greaters exhibit this or if some just have a wide nail. Also, the white isn't as vibrant in the primaries as some definite greaters I have seen pictures of. Anyway, I have attached some pics, and would love your opinions as to whether its a greater or a lesser. Thanks!
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Re: Scaup ID

Postby OregonSpeck85 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:55 am

Yeah its a greater scaup, nice bird
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Re: Scaup ID

Postby halfscoop » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:59 am

I say greater because of the green sheen on the head. Lessors are purple.
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Re: Scaup ID

Postby Ringneck » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:45 am

Here's a thread from this site that may help.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

-Albert Einstein
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Re: Scaup ID

Postby TooTall » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:06 pm

The only definitive way to tell from a picture is the wing. The iridescence of the head is highly variable. Lessers can show both green and purple depending on the angle. In hand, the size difference is obvious, especially later in the season. The nail on the bill is another good ID method.

All lessers:

All lessers:

All but one are lessers (I think you can find the greater)

A good comparison on the wings. Greater is on the right, lesser on the left.

As you can see, lessers show a lot of green on their heads as well. From the pics you provided, along with your description of the size, I would guess it to be a greater.

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Re: Scaup ID

Postby Dep6 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:45 am

Greater as said before.
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