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Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)

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Scaup Disappear

Twenty-five years ago, there were twice as many scaup in North America as there are today. Starting in 1986, non-native zebra mussels spread rapidly throughout the Great Lakes. And scaup love to eat them. However, zebra mussels and other shellfish accumulate contaminants, including selenium, from... read more »

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Former Abundance

On a November day in the late 1960s, flying in a light plane along the Mississippi River, the eminent waterfowl biologist Frank Bellrose came upon a raft of 450,000 Lesser Scaups that stretched for miles. Protection, restoration, and enhancement of habitats used during all seasons are under way... read more »

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Hunters' Names for Ducks

Hunters have nicknames for waterfowl that capture the distinctive sound and sight of these birds, such as "Spoonbill" for this Northern Shoveler. And why is the Northern Pintail called a "Sprig"? WNPR listener David, in Belchertown, MA, tells us that the answer can be found in Gurdon Trumbull's... read more »

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