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A photo of a Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis), male
Lesser Scaup, Male

Lesser Scaup

Aythya affinis

The lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) is a small North American diving duck that migrates south as far as Central America in winter. It is colloquially known as the little bluebill or broadbill because of its distinctive blue bill. The adult males (drakes) in definitive basic (breeding) plumage have a black, iridescent head and a small tuft at the hindcrown, a black breast, a whitish-grey back and wings with darker vermiculations and black outer and greyish-brown inner primary remiges. The underparts are white with some olive vermiculations on the flanks, and the rectrices and tail coverts are black. Adult females (hens) have a white band at the base of the bill, often a lighter ear region, and are otherwise dark brown all over, shading to white on the mid-belly. Drakes in eclipse plumage look similar, but with a very dark head and breast, little or no white on the head and usually some greyish vermiculations on the wings. Immature birds resemble the adult females, but are duller and have hardly any white at the bill base. Both sexes have white secondary remiges, a blue-grey bill with a smallblack "nail" at the tip and grey feet; the drakes have a bright yellow iris, while that of females is orange to yellow varying with age and that of immatures is brown
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