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


The majority of food that Lesser Scaup eat is obtained by diving under water to capture it. Their diet consists mainly of aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans, mollusks, aquatic insects, snails, and clams. Scaup may also feed on seeds of aquatic plants, such as the yellow pond lily Nuphar.

The food Aythya affinis eat depends highly on the time of the year it is because this factor determines what is available to them. Their diet also varies greatly from region to region. When breeding, amphipods are an important staple, as well as leeches, or Hirudinea, and midges, or Chironomidae. Plant seeds become a more imperative component in their nutrition in the months of fall. Throughout the year different species of fish, as well as their eggs, are eaten by the Lesser Scaup as often as this opportunity arises, as this is a nutritious food source.

As stated, Scaup usually consume their prey while underwater. But, in cases where they are faced with a larger size meal that might be too much too handle while submerged, they may rise to the surface of the water and take care of the job there. Foraging for food to eat is mainly carried out in open, shallow areas of water.

                                images seen above courtesy of J R Compton.   

To learn about the life of a Lesser Scaup and how they reproduce go to Life History/Reproduction
Back to HOME