This visitor from Eurasia is usually found in the company of and often hybridizes with scaups. Male: Black overall, with pristine white sides, belly, and flanks. The black extends down onto the sides, then retreats up from the flanks, forming a wavy border between the black and white. The head is more rounded overall than other Aythya and may show a purplish sheen. The bill is blue-gray with a black tip. The long shaggy crest hangs down over the nape. In Summer and early Fall adult males assume a cryptic female-like appearance, but lack white at the base of the bill and still usually show extended tuft feathers. Female: Dark chocolate brown overall, with slightly lighter sides and flanks. May show some white feathering at the base of the bill, but never as extensively as female scaups. Usually shows a small crest. Juvenile males show pale gray sides and a shorter crest than adults. In flight: Undersides of wings show extensive white. On the upperwing, a broad whitish line covers most of the flight feathers.
Length: 46 (cm) Wingspan: 76 (cm)
Breeds on freshwater marshes and lakes. Winters along coasts and inland lakes.
When actively feeding, may dive constantly.
Dives for mollusks and aquatic insect larva.
Expanded Life History
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