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Video Quiz: Greater & Lesser Scaup

Andy McGann|

A first for us here at Nemesisbird: a video quiz!

The first part of the video features a side-by-side comparison of drake Greater and Lesser Scaup. The birds are far away, and the lighting and resolution is not the best. But this is so often the case when viewing waterfowl in the wild! “National Geographic” cover-photos are the rare exception. The second part of the quiz presents an unidentified Scaup. Take your time to study it, and especially watch how the head shape changes depending on what the bird is doing. Don’t rush to judgement…

And, if you’re willing… submit your answer to the poll below!

Good luck!

[wpsqt name=”Mystery scaup” type=”poll”]

You can find the answer on this post.

About the Author

Andy McGann

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Birding since the young age of 10, Andy has an M.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary. His graduate work included a thesis on the winter ecology of Rusty Blackbirds and projects on the movement of toxic mercury pollution through a riparian food web in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Prior to that, he earned a B.S. in biology and an environmental studies concentration from Villanova University, with undergraduate research projects on Black-capped and Carolina Chickadee hybridization and the conservation of the potentially-extinct Cozumel Thrasher in Mexico. In the past 12 years, Andy has worked on many projects in several states, including the Second Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas project, Northern Goshawk surveys in Idaho, Canada Warblers nesting in Vermont, and environmental consulting in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska. Andy was also the first recipient of the Ned Smith Center's saw-whet owl banding internship.

A top-notch birder, he once placed second in the World Series of Birding with Drew Weber, Mike Lanzone, and other members of the PA Breeding Bird Atlas point count survey crew. He has enjoyed leading birding tours for the Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) organization, in Cape Charles, Virginia and the Great Dismal Swamp. He serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology and is an active committee member with his local land conservancy.

Andy currently works for Cellular Tracking Technologies, a communications technology company founded to serve the needs of wildlife researchers and conservationists. CTT specializes in machine-to-machine communications hardware and software solutions for low-cost worldwide data delivery via global cellular networks. Lightweight, solar-powered, energy-thrifty, and rugged, these devices are attached to wild animals and high-value assets for long-term remote GPS tracking. At CTT, Andy applies his ornithological expertise, love of technology, and appreciation for geography to help wildlife researchers and organizations around the world obtain the GPS tracking information they need.