Lesser Scaup [Aythya affinis] ~ 2019 #25

Lesser Scaup ~ Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC [April 2016]

I’m not going to lie, I am kind of guessing that this is a Lesser Scaup as opposed to a Greater Scaup.  It is really a challenge to differentiate between these two as this article explains. They say the Lesser will favour freshwater more, which is what I am relying on for this id.


  1. Nicely done. It is hard to get detail in both black and white. Tough to ID. The preference of Greater to freshwater occurs mostly in winter so that isn’t so reliable now. If I see both at the same time I can usually do it. The head on the Greater is round as is the nape, which looks a bit that way in your bird. However, the greater scaup may show green iridescence on its head and neck. The lesser scaup may also show green iridescence but can also show purple, which is never seen on the greater scaup. You got it! It’s a lesser Scaup–I see purple.

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