|A sunset at Rock Cut State Park in Rockford; A great place to go birding in Northern Illinois; 4/9/11.|
|A mix of Greater Scaups and Lesser Scaups on Pierce Lake; Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 3/26/11.|
* These birds are migrating through, not making Northern IL their summer home.
In my series about birds migrating through Illinois (not spending the summer in N. IL) on their way to their summer haunts, this weekend and next weekend, I'll features photos of some of these birds*: Scaups, Canvasbacks, Ruddy Ducks, Horned Grebes, Buffleheads, Red-breasted Mergansers, and Ospreys.
|A Lesser Scaup can be distiguished from its Greater cousin by its smaller size, |
its smudgy flanks, and taller head, Suguaro Lake, AZ; 12/29/09.
|Another look at the Lesser Scaup, Suguaro Lake, AZ; 12/29/09.|
|A pair of Lesser Scaups (male on left, female on right), |
Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 3/31/11.
|Lesser Scaups in flight, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 3/27/11.|
|Greater Scaups and a female Canvas Back, Nygren Wetlands, Rockton, IL; 4/10/11.|
Lesser Scaups are far more commonly seen than the Greater Scaups. During winter months, Lessers can be seen throughout most of the southern half of the U.S. as well as along both coasts. In summer they will be found throughout most of Alaska, Western and Central Canada, most of Ontario, and parts of extreme northern Quebec and Newfoundland. Greater Scaups can only be found along the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts in winter ( and a strange pocket along the southern Mississippi River in Arkansas). In summers they migrate to the very northern sectons of Canada (Yukon, Northwest Terrirorries, Nunavit) and Alaska. Greater Scaups are more likely to be found on saltwater than Lesser Scaups.