Lesser Scaup

Lesser Scaup are the most abundant members of the diving ducks in North America. They are social animals and are usually seen with other ducks. During winter, they will migrate as far south as Central America. Males have yellow eyes, a blue bill, a brown/gray body, and a black head that is iridescent purple/green sheen. During mating season, males will display a black and white plumage. Females have a brown body and dark brown head, sometimes with a white patch next to their bill.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Aythya affinis
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
1-18 Years
SIZE
15-18 ” | 1-3 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Waterfowl
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark
  • Lakes and reservoirs

Threats

  • Disease
  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

Lesser Scaup primarily feed on aquatic invertebrates, plants, and seeds. During the breeding season, females will lay eggs before the nest is complete, unlike most birds. She will lay 6-14 eggs and incubate them for 21-27 days. Shortly after hatching, the chicks can dive for food but are too buoyant to remain underwater for longer than a few seconds.

Fun Facts

The oldest recorded Lesser Scaup was an 18 year old male. They will sometimes play dead when captured by predators.