BIRDS OF ICELAND : Aythya marila, Scaup duck

Aythya marila; the Scaup is a fairly common breeding diving duck on Iceland. They appear very similar to the tufted ducks. They are slightly larger, a difficult trait for recognition whenever one species is absent. The males can best be told by the color of the backs: grayish on the Scaup and full black on the tufted duck. Also, the Scaup male has a green head where the tufted duck has an almost black/dark purple color. However, very often the heads of scaups also appear "dark", especially on reflecting water surfaces. The female Scaup has a very thick white-scaly region around the beak. The female tufted duck sometimes has this too, but only as a thin margin. The female Scaup also has a whitish spot behind/below the eyes which female tufted ducks do not have. A common characteristic feature are the bright yellow eyes. In winter almost all Scaups leave for the British Isles.

A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise
Other Waterfowl species

Other Waterfowl species

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Natural History of Iceland Site  in Dutch

Natural History of Iceland Site  Dutch