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Lesser Scaup dives deep for its food

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Also known as a Bluebill, it can dive up to 20 feet

The Lesser Scaup is a diving ducks, which means that it does not feed on or near the surface of the water, as do those species of ducks called dabblers.

Known by many hunters as the Bluebill, most of the Lesser Scaup’s feeding is done in 5-6 feet of water, but it can dive up to a depth of 20 feet. The duck feeds mostly on plants like pondweeds, widegon grass and the seeds of grasses sedges, but it will dive for snails, aquatic insects and shrimplike organisms, which are equally important to their diet.

The Lesser Scaup is a 16 1/2 inch long duck with a 25-inch wingspan, and it winters south to Trinidad and Panama.

The male has a brown and white midsection with a black head, chest and tail, while the female is somewhat brownish.

They arrive in Kentucky from late February to early April and have been known to nest near Carrollton in Carroll County on the Ohio River. They nest in dry situations within three to 50 yards of water, but never over water. The nest is usually in cover 13-24 inches high and is a shallow, hollow scoop in the ground and is lined with dark brown feathers and mixed with dry grasses. The female lays six to 15 eggs and incubates them for 21-27 days.

You may see the Lesser Scaup on any of the local lakes usually in small flocks, if they are in migration. So when you see a duck diving for its food you’ve been treated to a sighting of the Lesser Scaup in the great outdoors.