scaup



scaup defined in 1930 year

scaup - Scaup;
scaup - Head, neck, upper breast, and back glossy black; mantle finely vermiculated with greyish brown and white; speculum white, terminated with greenish black; rump, wing- and tail-feathers brown; belly white; bill pale blue; irides straw-yellow; legs and feet dull blue. Length, eighteen inches. Female: brown; a broad white band round the base of the bill; upper breast and mantle vermiculated with grey; belly dull white.

The scaup is common with us in winter, and found on most parts of the coast, but never remains to breed. It does not come inland, like the tufted duck and goldeneye, but is met with in estuaries and the mouths of tidal rivers. In its breeding-haunts in the extreme north of Europe it penetrates to lakes and rivers at a considerable distance from the sea. It feeds on shellfish, crustaceans, aquatic insects, also on vegetable food, which it obtains by diving. It is gregarious at all times, and in the breeding season is seen in small flocks, feeding or floating idly on the water. It rises heavily, and flies rapidly, with violently-beating wings. Seebohm, who observed it in its summer haunts, says of its language: ' Of all the cries of ducks that have come under my notice, I think that of the scaup is the most discordant. None of them are very musical, perhaps; but if you imagine a man with an exceptionally harsh, hoarse voice, screaming out the word scaup al the top of his voice, some idea of the note of this duck may be formed.'

The scaup makes its nest near the water, and lays from six to nine eggs, of a pale greenish grey colour.

near scaup in Knolik


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