picture by J R Compton. http://www.JRCompton.com/photos/The_Birds/J/

Habitat and Geography

Lesser Scaup enjoy spending their time in fresh water and are usually found on lakes and ponds. This species is only present in North America, unlike its closest relation, the Greater Scaup (Aythya marila). Because Aythya affinis is a migratory bird, its typical geographic location changes with the seasons.

During the winter, Lesser Scaup are known to form dense flocks located on sheltered bays, rivers, reservoirs, and lakes. Geographically this takes place along the coasts of North America south from British Columbia and Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as inland south of Colorado and the Great Lakes.

During migration, both in the spring and in the fall, Lesser Scaup inhabit large wetlands along with rivers and lakes. They are of the latest migrants in the spring, when travelling North, as well as the fall, when heading South. Often they don't leave to find warmer climates in the South until the waters actually begin to freeze. When migrating South, Lesser Scaup tend to use the Mississippi and Central flyways.

When breeding time comes in the spring, because they are such late migrants, usually Lesser Scaup are still making their way towards breeding grounds in May. The geographical area they cover when breeding consists of interior Alaska and Canada down to Colorado, Iowa, Utah, and Wisconsin. After breeding, Aythya affinis spend their summer time in smaller wetlands located in boreal forests and parks.     

Find out about the many Adaptations the Lesser Scaup possesses to allow it to live the awesome lifestyle it does!
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