Monday 20 August 2012

Tufted Duck X Greater Scaup hybrid

The other day Anne Hughes mentioned seeing a possible TUDUXGRSC at Kenny's pond so I went in search of it today (August 20, 2012) and re-found it just across the street at Kent's Pond.

The bird is a female, with a large white spot at the base of the bill. Female Tufted Ducks never show much white, if at all, at the base of the bill. However, it has a small 'tuft' - the tuft is more like a few strands of hair/feathers when looking at the profile view; however, once the bird turns its ahead away it has what looks like a mohawk - a very short crest about an inch in length that extends from just behind the top of the head downwards.
The bird also has a fairly large black tip which I would associate more with a Tufted Duck.

Black at tip of bill seems too large for a Greater Scaup?

The 'mohawk' is sort of evident here:

And the profile view shows a few straggles of feathers on the back of the head:

Let me know if you agree or disagree with this identification!