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What duck is it?


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#1 shixingwen

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:48 AM

I got some duck-like birds in Fort Myers, Florida last weekend. The picture is not clear but could anyone tell what these birds are?

http://white-clouds....MG_8403-800.jpg

#2 meghann

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:18 AM

Female greater scaups, I think.

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#3 Parula

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:24 AM

i agree

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#4 birdbrain22

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:28 AM

To me they look like Lessers... but I have been wrong before on these guys(well in this case girls)
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#5 shixingwen

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:37 AM

Female greater scaups, I think.


Thanks!

#6 Liam

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:17 AM

To me they look like Lessers... but I have been wrong before on these guys(well in this case girls)


Head shape makes me think Lesser as well. Sibley's states Lesser's head is more "flat", while Greater's is more "sloped".

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#7 jdeitsch

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

I third Lesser,

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#8 shixingwen

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:52 AM

Head shape makes me think Lesser as well. Sibley's states Lesser's head is more "flat", while Greater's is more "sloped".


Thanks, Liam!

#9 Guest_Birdluvr_*

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:51 AM

these look like greater scaup to me. lesser scaup have smaller heads with a more peaked crown while greater has a larger and smoothly rounded head according to National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. these look larger with smooth rounded heads. Sibleys words the differences in the head a different than in National Geographic. also, sibleys states thats they are very difficult to distinguish from one another in the field

#10 Cavan Wood

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:55 AM

Particularly difficult when actively diving. They do look big headed, but the back of the head seems like the highest point and slightly peaked......favouring lesser but not sure at all.
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#11 MarkBird

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

I think more pictures would be needed to call these Greater. The posture does interfere with the "roundness" look, but the peak of the head appears behind the eye as Cavan Wood noted. So, I think Lesser for these as well.

Most reports of Greaters on the Florida West coast are singles mixed in with Lessers. This would be a good find if Greaters.

#12 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

I think more pictures would be needed to call these Greater. The posture does interfere with the "roundness" look, but the peak of the head appears behind the eye as Cavan Wood noted. So, I think Lesser for these as well.

Most reports of Greaters on the Florida West coast are singles mixed in with Lessers. This would be a good find if Greaters.


I agree with Mark on the scarcity of Greaters on the Fl west coast, so I think we'd need more shots to be sure.

FWIW, here's what I see:

The bird on the left appears to have black extending pretty broadly out from the bill nail, which points to a Greater. The bird on the right is the only one for which we can see head shape, and I think it's inconclusive from this shot (if forced to choose, I'd lean Greater, but I'm always hesitant to call one from a single frame like this since head shape can appear to change with posture and after a bird has just resurfaced). Either way, I think they've got to go down as Scaup sp.

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#13 shixingwen

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:10 AM

Thanks, everyone, for helping to identify this duck-like bird. Here is another shot of the equally poor quality:

http://white-clouds....MG_8404-800.jpg

#14 Cavan Wood

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:23 PM

Those ones look decidedly lesser.
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#15 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:33 PM

Those ones look decidedly lesser.


Agreed. Tough call again, but they all appear to have that "peaked" look to their heads.

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#16 Guest_Birdluvr_*

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:05 AM

i have a hard time telling lesser and greater apart sometimes, even when i know what field marks to look for. sometimes its even hard to distinguish the head size when theres nothing to compare it too.. in my field guide, the head size is clearly different between the two but not always as easy distinguishable in the field.

#17 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:23 AM

i have a hard time telling lesser and greater apart sometimes, even when i know what field marks to look for. sometimes its even hard to distinguish the head size when theres nothing to compare it too.. in my field guide, the head size is clearly different between the two but not always as easy distinguishable in the field.


It's not head size that's useful as much as head shape (rounded versus peaked). Judging head size in the field is going to be really tough and not very useful, unless you've got individuals of both species side by side for comparison.

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#18 shixingwen

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:02 AM

Thanks, everyone, for helping to identify this bird! Admire your expertise.

#19 Guest_Birdluvr_*

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:09 AM

[

It's not head size that's useful as much as head shape (rounded versus peaked). Judging head size in the field is going to be really tough and not very useful, unless you've got individuals of both species side by side for comparison.

i meant to say head shape and typed size, sorry about that..lol]




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