Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis

  • © Luis Enrique Andrade Blanc

Lesser Scaup is a diving duck that divides its time between breeding grounds reaching from Alaska south through Canada into the northern Great Plains of the US and the wintering grounds, encompassing most of the United States and Mexico, reaching many Caribbean islands and heading south through Central America regularly to the northern coasts of South America.  Males are black on the rear end, head, and neck with a grizzled gray back, while females are largely brown with white at the base of the bill.  Lesser Scaup are smaller than Greater Scaup, and usually show a tall head shape with a peak at the hindcrown and a slim bill.  They winter in large flocks, typically on fresh water and sometimes mixed with other species of diving ducks.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

© William W. H. Gunn

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/lessca