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Bird name:


Aythya marila




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Tundra, Lakes, wooded shores, Woodlands

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Smooth and pale green to olive.

Number of Eggs:

8 - 11

Incubation Days:

26 - 28

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Shallow depression lined with grass and down.

Nest Location:

On the ground hidden by vegetation.




Scaup: Diving duck with small, black tip on pale blue-grey bill. Head dark black-green with orange-yellow eye. Pale grey back with fine dark grey barring, black neck, breast, rump, and vent. White belly. Wings grey with broad white stripe and black trailing edge. Adult female has dark brown neck, breast, and head with white near bill. White belly, and brown grey on vent and rump. Back and sides brown-grey with fine black barring. Winter adults like summer birds but paler and more grey-brown. Juveniles like females but darker brown.

Range and Habitat

Scaup: Winter visitor to the UK & Ireland. A few pairs breed each year. Birds are visible from autumn until spring. Most commonly found on large estuaries, but may be found at most coastlines except the southwest of England, northwest Scotland and west coast of Wales. Can also be found inland on deep lakes.

Breeding and Nesting

Scaup: Nest is a bowl or depression on the ground in freshwater wetlands, often in tall grass, and is thickly lined with grasses and female's down. If female is in poor condition, small outer feathers may be used instead. After incubation begins, the male leaves to molt on a shallow, isolated lake.

Foraging and Feeding

Scaup: In coastal areas it dives for clams, crustaceans, small fish and mainly mussels. Being omnivorous it also forages for seeds, leaves, stems, roots and tubers of aquatic plants such as sedges or pondweeds. It will also eat small insects.


Scaup: Usually silent but can utter a loud "scaup." Breeding males make a soft "week, week, week" sound.

Similar Species

Scaup: Tufted Duck has a black head, larger black mark on bill, a black crest, and black upperparts.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX