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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Photo Essay: Greater and Lesser Scaup

The ever-popular bluebill 
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  • photo by MichaelFurtman.com
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Greater and lesser scaup share a number of traits, not the least of which is a distinctive blue bill, from which they derive their popular nickname "bluebills." The origin of the term scaup, however, is less clear. Early naturalists claimed that the name stemmed from the birds' habit of feeding on scalp—the Scottish word for clams, oysters, and mussels. But other scholars credit the drake's discordant scaup, scaup call as the name's source.
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