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Diving Ducks, Aythyinae, Genus Aythya  

Greater Scaup, Aythya marila
Photo: Dewhurst, Donna, USFW

Subfamily: Aythyinae
Diving ducks - Some 15 species of diving ducks, of worldwide distribution
Genus: Netta, Red-crested Pochard and allies - 4 species, one probably extinct.
Genus: Aythya, pochards, scaups, etc. - 12 species

Family Aythinae
Genus Aythya
A diving duck which eats seeds, roots, aquatic plants and grasses as well as invertebrates and small fish.
Pochards may also be seen filtering mud on the shoreline.

It is found North of the equator from Iceland and western Europe to central Asia and sw Siberia and western Yakutia.
South of this the range covers Spain and then east through France, Tunisia the Balkans to Kazakhstan and ne China.
Winters farther south in the tropics. [1]
Genus Aythya - pochards, scaups
Aythya ferina, Common Pochard
Aythya valisineria, Canvasback
Aythya americana, Redhead
Aythya collaris, Ring-necked Duck
Aythya nyroca, Hvitøyeand Ferruginous Pochard
Aythya innotata, Madagascar Pochard Alaotraand(thought extinct, found again 2006)
Aythya baeri, Baer's Pochard
Aythya australis, White-eyed Duck
Aythya fuligula, Tufted Duck
Aythya novaeseelandiae, New Zealand Scaup Maoridykkand
Aythya marila, Greater Scaup
Aythya affinis, Lesser Scaup

Myvatn, Iceland 2004
© www.vulkaner.no

Greater Scaup, Aythya marila  
En. Scaup, Da. Bjergand, Du. Toppereend, Fi. Lapasotka, Fr. Fuligule milouinan,
Ge. Bergente, It. Moretta grigia, No. Bergand, Sp. Porrón bastardo, Sw. Bergand

Greater and lesser scaup are often found together, but the larger size of the greater scaup is very obvious.
Male greater scaup also have a larger more round, green-tinted head than male lesser scaup.
Male greater scaup have a glossy black head tinted green.
The neck, breast, and upper mantle are glossy black and the flanks and belly are white sometimes with gray vermiculations on the lower flanks. The back is whitish with fine black vermiculations and the tail, upper and
under-tail coverts are black.
The wing has a broad white speculum spanning nearly the length of the primaries and secondaries.
The bill is a light blue-gray with a black nail, the legs and feet are gray, and the iris is yellow.
Relatively silent except in display, the male utters a soft cooing as well as whistling notes in courtship.
Female greater scaup are brown with white oval patches around their bills.
The bill is similar to that of the male, but slightly duller and the legs and feet are gray.
The female has harsh, gruff notes typical of the genus.

Myvatn, Iceland 2004
© www.vulkaner.no

Greater scaup breed on the tundra and in the boreal forest zones from Iceland across northern Scandinavia, northern Russia, northern Siberia and the western North American Arctic.
It is estimated that three quarters of the North American population breeds in Alaska. Greater scaup nest predominantly
on islands in large lakes and lay an average of 9 eggs.

Contaminants, lower female survival, and reduced recruitment due to changes in breeding habitat or food resources
are thought to be the primary factors contributing to the decline.
The 2001 breeding population survey places the greater scaup population in USA at about 406,000 birds,
an 8% decrease from last year's estimate.
In the 1970's the population in North America was estimated to 750.000 birds.

Myvatn, Iceland 2004
© www.vulkaner.no

Food habits: Greater scaup dive to feed on aquatic plants and animals. In coastal areas, mollusks constitute the principle items
of the diet. In freshwater habitats, seeds, leaves, stems, roots, and tubers of aquatic plants (sedges, pondweeds, muskgrass,
wild celery, etc.) are important items
Text: www.ducks.org/

Denmark, February 2007
Photo © Jørgen Scheel

Common Pochard, Taffeland, Aythya ferina  

© http://www.ecosystema.ru/

Tufted Duck, Aythya fuligula  

© http://www.ecosystema.ru/

Tufted Ducks are divers and can dive to a depth of 14 metres in search of its wide variety of animal and vegetable food,
but as you see, it is also good at flying....

The male has a distinctive black and white pattern for most of the year. In certain lights it is possible to see the metallic purple
sheen on the head which sets off his yellow eye. He has a tuft at the back of the head which is longer during the breeding season.
The female is generally brown with paler flanks and a yellow eye.

The female nests on the ground near the water, and like the Eider beds with downs.
Normally it has from 6 to 12 light greygreenish eggs. The female uses 24 days to have the chickens come out,
then after a few hours they are off to the water, and 6 weeks later they can fly.

During the winter, most of the birds travel as far south as to Norther Africa and India.

Photos from Rusbiophoto
© www.ecosystema.ru/


over 250


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