Lesser Scaup

Aythya affinis
The lesser scaup looks liek it was whacked in the back of the head/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

The Lesser scaup is an uncommon visitor in areas near the Refuge throughout spring, fall and winter. It is a diving duck that forages mainly for invertebrates, which it prefers over plants. It is the size of  a football and a half and is sometimes called, the ”Little Bluebill” or “Broadbill” because its bill looks quite blue.  The female is brown all over and sports a bold white patch at the base of her bill. Females sometimes show a very pale white ear patch.

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Facts About Lesser Scaup

Back of the head looks like it was whacked by a board

Head is black with a purple gloss

Male’s eye is yellow; Female’s eye is orange