Created 11-Jan-17
Modified 11-Jan-17
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Aythya novaeseelandiae

New Zealand Scaup

New Zealand Status: Endemic
Conservation Status: Not Threatened

Aythya novaeseelandiae, commonly known as NZ Scaup, are diving ducks that spend a lot of time underwater where they can travel considerable distances.

Both genders have dark plumage but are easily distinguished. Males have dark black-brown plumage, iridescent blue-green head and wings, and lighter mottling on the chest and underparts. His iris is yellow and bill blue-grey. Females are a duller chocolate brown with paler underparts. Her iris is brown and bill grey, normally with a ring of white feathers at the base. Juveniles resemble females until 12 weeks old when the iris in males takes on its characteristic yellow colour. In flight, all birds have a broad white upper-wing bar and pale white underwing. Scaup have a fast wing beat and often fly just above the water. They sometimes rest on land, but quickly retreat to water when disturbed.
Aythya novaeseelandiae, New Zealand ScaupAythya novaeseelandiae, NZ Scaup (Male)