One of the main characteristics of the Lesser Scaup, Aythya affinis, is its
unique blue bill and so this small diving duck is often nicknamed Bluebill.
The male Lesser Scaup has a black-purple, glossy head, black tail and whitish body with a gray and white back.
Both sexes have yellow eyes and bit of a peak at the back of the head. The female (left) is shades of brown with a white patch at the base of the bill. Adults are about 17 in/43 cm long with a wingspan of 26 in/66 cm.
This is a relatively common duck which breeds in the tundra, prairies and great plains of North America, making nests in marshes near lakes and ponds. It feeds by diving down for invertebrates.