Lesser Scaup
Aythya affinis

With an incubation time of about twenty-five days, a fifty-day fledging period for the young ones, and an annual molt for the adults, lesser scaup are still on the summering grounds after most other ducks are already gone.

Like most other divers, they travel in sizeable flocks and often raft up by the hundreds on big lakes. Thanks to their gregariousness, they come readily to a well-placed decoy spread, especially if it’s a big one. When scaup come to the decoys they are usually tightly bunched, flying low to the water, twisting and turning on the wing.

All scaup feed on animal matter. Mollusks, crayfish, snails, tadpoles, and aquatic insects can become food for this duck, but the lesser species eats slightly more vegetation than the greater. Pondweed, wild celery, wild rice, and milfoil are great favorites.

*Text sources provided by Michael McIntosh, Wild Fowl of North America, published by Brown & Bigelow Inc. St. Paul Minnesota.
Species Identification compiled by George Austin McCurry