Difference Between Greater And Lesser Scaup

Have you ever been out on the water and seen a pair of ducks swimming around? Did you ever think to yourself, “Huh, those two look pretty similar…”? If so, you may have been looking at a pair of Greater and Lesser Scaup!

In this blog post, we’ll be diving into the differences between these two species of ducks, from their physical characteristics to their behavior. Read on to learn more about the Greater and Lesser Scaup!

Species overview of the greater scaup

Species overview of the greater scaup

The Greater Scaup is a large diving duck that can be found in both fresh and salt water habitats. It’s easily distinguishable from the Lesser Scaup, as it has a larger head, a wider bill and a dark-colored head and neck.

This species is often seen in large flocks, and is known to feed on aquatic invertebrates, shellfish, and aquatic plants. The Greater Scaup is also an excellent swimmer, and can reach speeds up to 10 miles per hour! It’s a great addition to any landscape and will add a unique and interesting element to the environment.

Species overview of the lesser scaup

Species overview of the lesser scaup

The lesser scaup is a species of diving duck found in North America. It is often mistaken for its cousin, the greater scaup, but the two can easily be distinguished by their size, coloring, bill shape, and behavior. The lesser scaup is smaller than the greater scaup, with a more rounded head, a shorter bill, and bolder markings on the back and wings.

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The greater scaup has a longer bill and more delicate markings on the wings. Behaviorally, the greater scaup tends to dive deeper and stay underwater longer than the lesser scaup, giving it a greater range of feeding options.

Both species are a delight to watch, but the lesser scaup is perhaps the more colorful of the two and the one most likely to be seen in shallow waters.

Comparison of the physical characteristics of greater and lesser scaup

Comparison of the physical characteristics of greater and lesser scaup

The difference between Greater and Lesser Scaup is more than just a matter of size. While Greater Scaup are larger than their Lesser Scaup counterparts, they also have distinct physical characteristics that can be used to easily identify them. Greater Scaup have a larger head and bill, which are both rounder and more pointed than those of the Lesser Scaup.

Greater Scaup have a larger head and bill, which are both rounder and more pointed than those of the Lesser Scaup. In addition, Greater Scaup have a distinct white area around the base of their bill, while the Lesser Scaup have a more uniform bill color. The Greater Scaup also have a white patch on their nape, which the Lesser Scaup lack.

These differences in physical characteristics make it easy to tell the two species apart.

Comparison of habitats of greater and lesser scaup

Comparison of habitats of greater and lesser scaup

When it comes to the habitats of greater and lesser scaup, there are distinct differences between the two species. Greater scaup are typically found in larger, open bodies of water such as lakes, bays, and estuaries, where they feed on small mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic plants.

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Greater scaup tend to migrate more than their lesser counterparts, often flying in large flocks to wintering grounds along the coasts of the United States and Mexico. In comparison, lesser scaup are more likely to remain in the same area year-round.

Both species are highly social, often gathering in large groups to feed and breed. However, there is no mistaking the difference between greater and lesser scaup; while the former has a rounded head, the latter has a peaked one.

Comparison of migration patterns between greater and lesser scaup

Comparison of migration patterns between greater and lesser scaup

When it comes to migration patterns, the difference between greater and lesser scaup is like night and day. Greater scaup tend to migrate over longer distances, while lesser scaup prefer to stay in their local areas, often traveling no more than a few miles away.

The greater scaup are also more likely to make multiple migrations over the course of the year, while the lesser scaup may only make a single migration. With these differences in mind, it’s clear that the greater and lesser scaup have different migration strategies, making them two distinct species.


Final Touch

The main difference between Greater and Lesser Scaup is the size of their bodies. Greater Scaup is larger than Lesser Scaup, with a body length of up to 20 inches and a wingspan of up to 39 inches. Greater Scaup also has a more pointed head, a thicker bill, and a more iridescent purple-green sheen on its back.

Greater Scaup also has a more pointed head, a thicker bill, and a more iridescent purple-green sheen on its back. Lesser Scaup is smaller, with a body length of up to 15 inches and a wingspan of up to 33 inches. It also has a more rounded head, a thinner bill, and a more dull grayish-brown sheen on its back.

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Ultimately, both of these species of scaup are beautiful water birds that can be found in many wetlands across North America.

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