(Aythya marila)




Facts about this animal

The (greater) scaup is a large diving duck with a body-weight of 1250 g in males and 900-1200 g in females. It is 42-51 cm long with a 71-80 cm wingspan. It has a blue bill and yellow eyes.

During the breeding season, the plumage of the male is dark with a green sheen on the head, the breast is black, the back light, the tail black and the bottom white. The adult female has a white band at the base of the bill and a brown head and body.

Nest sites are variable and may be located in gull or tern colonies. 8 to 10 brownish to olive-coloured eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female alone for 24-28 days.

The food of the greater scaup consists mainly of (bivalve) molluscs, aquatic insects and plant material.

Did you know?
that this bird's English vernacular name may come from its display call "scaup scaup"?


Class AVES
Suborder ANSERES
Name (Scientific) Aythya marila
Name (English) Scaup
Name (French) Fuligule milouinan
Name (German) Bergente
Name (Spanish) Porrón bastardo
Local names Czech: Polák kaholka
Dutch: Toppereend
Finnish: Lapasotka
Estonian: Merivart
Greek: Marilópapia
Hungarian: Hrgyi réce
Italian: Moretta grigia
Polish: Ogorzalka
Portuguese: Zarro-bastardo
Romansh: Anda da muntogna
Swedish: Bergand
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.) Included in AEWA



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Range Breeds in the northern parts of Eurasia and North America and winters further south. Americas: Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Asia: Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea PDR, Korea Rep., Myanmar, Nepal Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Viet NamEurope: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Latvia (reintroduced), Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia Yug. Rep., and Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Fed., Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom Vagrants may be encountered in a series of other countries and territories from Greenland to the Maraiana Islands.
Habitat Breeds by moorland pools and lakes. Winters in estuaries, coastal bays and inland lakes.
Wild population The global population is estimated to be 1,100,000 to 1,400,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).
Zoo population 87 reported to ISIS (2006).

In the Zoo



How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 18 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


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Why do zoos keep this animal

The scaup is not a threatened species. Zoos keep them for educational purposes and as an ambassador species for wetland and estuary conservation.