Male - The male Greater Scaup has a black head with a green glossy sheen, a black neck, breast, rump, and tail, yellow eyes and blue-grey beak with black tip, the belly and flanks are white, upperparts are pale grey with black vermiculation, and legs and feet are greyish-blue.
Female - The female has a brown head and body with a white band at the base of the beak, yellow eyes, darker beak than the male, and sometimes a whitish spot on side of the head.
Eclipse - The male in eclipse plumage is much duller than in its breeding plumage with a brownish-black head and neck and a brownish tinge to the rest of the plumage.
Compare ducks with similar appearance.
Lesser Scaup, Tufted Duck and Ring-necked Duck.
Size: - Typical Adult is 42-51cm (16-20in).
Food: - Mussels, molluscs, aquatic plant seeds, pondweeds, sedges, and insect larvae.
Habitat/Range: - Lakes, pools, rivers, and coastal waters in North America, northern Europe, and northern Asia. Winters further south in coastal areas of North America from USA to Mexico, the Aleutian Islands, UK, western Europe, Mediterranean, Black Sea, south-east China, Korea, and Japan.
Breeding Season: - Late May or early June.
Eggs: - 7 to 9 (olive-buff colour).
Notes: - The Greater Scaup is a small diving duck, colloquially called the Bluebill. Unlike the smaller but very similiar Lesser Scaup, this duck is found across Eurasia as well as North America.
Conservation status (IUCN 3.1):
Classification: - Family: Anatidae,
Subfamily: Aythyinae, Genus: Aythya.