Richmond Marina Ducks


Jim Chiropolos
 

In addition to the ongoing White-winged scoter at the Richmond marina (what a great find and a species who's numbers are crashing) at the marina, what appears to be a hybrid scaup is at the marina. I have not seen anyone take pictures of this bird yet. It is a female bird, with the white crescent by the bill. It also has a very noticeable white ear mark and seemed to me to be on the smaller side. I have no idea whose parents this female scaup is. It almost looks like a hybrid scaup -harlequin combination, but that seems far-fetched. Maybe a bufflehead? This bird was with other greater scaup a the mouth of the harbor. I hope some people get pictures of this bird and there can be a fascinating debate about its parents on this site!

Its been an interesting year for hybrid ducks.

Good Birding,
Jim Chiropolos


Bill Bousman
 

Female scaup in their "non-breeding" plumage have a white earmark of sorts and the white around the bill is diminished (see Sibley).  This, of course, is the plumage they show on their breeding grounds and isn't seen that frequently in the Bay.  The nesting Lesser Scaup we had in the South Bay for many years showed a great deal of variation in the amount of white or buff on the face.  I only mention this  because if bird wound up here that for some reason did not have its prebasic molt, it might look something like you describe.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park

On 1/20/2021 2:47 PM, Jim Chiropolos wrote:
In addition to the ongoing White-winged scoter at the Richmond marina (what a great find and a species who's numbers are crashing) at the marina, what appears to be a hybrid scaup is at the marina. I have not seen anyone take pictures of this bird yet. It is a female bird, with the white crescent by the bill. It also has a very noticeable white ear mark and seemed to me to be on the smaller side. I have no idea whose parents this female scaup is. It almost looks like a hybrid scaup -harlequin combination, but that seems far-fetched. Maybe a bufflehead? This bird was with other greater scaup a the mouth of the harbor. I hope some people get pictures of this bird and there can be a fascinating debate about its parents on this site!

Its been an interesting year for hybrid ducks.

Good Birding,
Jim Chiropolos