Greater Scaup Aythya marila



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Photos from this Account

Breeding male

Medium-sized diving duck with an evenly rounded head and a yellow eye. Dark head, chest, and rear contrasts with white sides and gray back. Greenish iridescence on head only visible with ideal lighting.


Medium-sized diving duck with rounded head and fairly heavy, broad bill. Warm brownish overall, with white facial patch next to bill and a yellow eye.

Immature male

In flight, all plumages have a white wing stripe that extends into the primaries, nearly to the tip of the wing.

Nonbreeding male

Large diving duck with a rounded head and a yellow eye. Nonbreeding males have brownish gray back and flanks.


Medium-sized diving duck with a rounded head. Rich brown overall, with white patch next to bill and, in summer, often a pale "ear" patch toward the back of the head.

Breeding male

Medium-sized diving duck with a broad, black-tipped bill. At close range, gray back is finely marked with black lines. Greenish iridescence on head is only visible in ideal lighting.

Breeding male with Redhead

Often flocks with other diving ducks, especially in winter and migration. Pale gray back and white sides are distinctive from a distance.


Flocks winter mainly on saltwater bays and estuaries; also on Great Lakes and other large freshwater lakes that stay ice free in winter.

Recommended Citation

Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: