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GREATER SCAUP (Aythya marila)

©Nigel Key Greater Scaup (Slimbridge March 2019)

The Greater Scaup is a diving duck and is closely related to the Lesser Scaup though larger. It spends the summer months breeding in Alaska, Northern Canada, Siberia and the Northmost parts of Europe.

Their main threat is loss of habitat due to human intervention and their numbers have steadily decreased over the years. They are currently classed as Least Concern.

The Greater Scaup is very similar in appearance to the Lesser Scaup except larger and more bulky.
(Compare the two Ducks)

   Hear the Greater Scaup's Call:-
Conservation Status

420mm to 510mm (16" to 20")

Appearance - Male
The male has a Black head with a Green tint, a Blue Grey bill with a Black tip and Yellow eyes. The neck and breast are Black, the upperback is pale Grey with Black vermiculation, the belly and flanks are White. The legs and feet are Grey Blue.

Appearance - Female
The female is smaller than the male and has mostly Brown plumage with White bands on the wingtips, duller Yellow eyes and a duller bill.

Lakes, Rivers, Pools and Coastal Waters.

Aquatic Plants, Aquatic Insects, Molluscs and Crustaceans.

Breeding Time
Late May to Early June.

Nests are built on Islands or Lakes near water or on floating vegetation.

Quantity: 6 to 9
Colour: Olive Buff.

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Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge August 2016) - pic by Nigel Key Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge September 2018) - pic by Nigel Key Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge March 2019) - pic by Nigel Key
16/08/16 25/09/18 25/03/19
Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge March 2014) - pic by Nigel Key Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge May 2014) - pic by Nigel Key Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge April 2015) - pic by Nigel Key
16/03/14 17/05/14 09/04/15
Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge August 2010) - pic by Nigel Key Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge March 2012) - pic by Nigel Key Greater Scaup (WWT Slimbridge March 2012) - pic by Nigel Key
22/08/10 24/03/12 24/03/12
Photos copyright of ©Nigel Key
Click for larger image

Related Links:-

Lesser Scaup -

Lesser Scaup v's Greater Scaup

Diving Ducks -

You can help to protect wetland habitats in the UK and around the World by becoming a member of the WWT, visit official WWT site for details.


Greater Scaup
Breeding Habitat
North America from Alaska and Kotzebue Sound to Bristol Bay also Iceland, Nothern Europe and Western Asia.
Winter Habitat or Migration Area
Winters South down the coasts of North America, Europe and Japan.

WWT Slimbridge Location - Greater Scaup
Tundra Zone - WWT Slimbridge
© Nigel Key Tundra Zone (WWT Slimbridge September 2012)

The Greater Scaup can be found in the Tundra Zone, along with the following wildfowl:-
Barnacle Goose
Bean Goose
Tundra Zone (WWT Slimbridge)

WWT Slimbridge Wildfowl (Listed Alphabetically)
A-B  | C-F  | G-L  | M-R  | S-Z
Wildfowl G to L
Greater Flamingo
Greater Scaup
Grey-Crowned Crane
Greylag Goose
Hawaiian Goose
Hooded Merganser
James's Flamingo
Laysan Duck
Lesser Flamingo
Lesser Scaup
Lesser Whistling Duck
Lesser White-Fronted Goose