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Merlin Bird ID

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    Greater Scaup Life History


    Habitat Lakes and PondsFound on lakes, ponds, and bays. Mostly marine in winter.Back to top


    Food Aquatic invertebratesClams, snails, crustaceans, aquatic insects, seeds, and aquatic plants.Back to top


    Nest Placement

    Nest Ground

    Nest Description

    Bowl-shaped depression in ground, usually lined with grasses and a thick layer of down. Placed in tall grass in an area not subject to flooding.

    Nesting Facts
    Clutch Size:5-13 eggs
    Egg Description:Brownish olive-buff.
    Condition at Hatching:Downy and eyes open. Leave nest as soon as they are dry. Feed themselves immediately.
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    Behavior Surface DiveDives under water to capture food.Back to top


    Conservation Common Bird in Steep DeclineGreater Scaup numbers appear to have declined since the 1950's according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. However, population trends are difficult to estimate, in part because of similarities to abundant Lesser Scaup, making accurate winter counts difficult to obtain. The 2014 State of the Birds lists Greater Scaup as a Common Bird in Steep Decline. Back to top


    Kessel, Brina, Deborah A. Rocque and John S. Barclay. 2002. Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

    Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

    North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

    Sibley, David Allen. 2014. The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A Knopf, New York.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2015. Waterfowl population status, 2015. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior.

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