A Greater Scaup drake in AutumnA Greater Scaup drake in Autumn – Nikon D810, f8, 1/500, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

It feels so good to look at a 10 day weather forecast and see predictions of lower temps and to know that autumn is really on the way. The cooler temps feel invigorating to me and probably all the birds and wildlife I photograph.

Last autumn I was able to get up close to a drake Greater Scaup at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and I’m hoping that I see more of them this year. I don’t get many chances to photograph this duck species that only winters over here in a few locations in northern Utah so I will jump at any chance I get.

The population of Greater Scaups has been on the decline since the 1990’s and while biologists and conservationists aren’t sure why some researchers believe a parasitic trematode; or fluke, found in the snails these ducks eat might be to blame. Whatever the cause I hope that we can stop the decline of these handsome ducks.

Life is good.



  1. Patty Chadwick October 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    This duck looks like his head is covered in black velvet…handsome devil!!!

  2. Elephant's Child October 3, 2015 at 12:50 pm


  3. April Olson October 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Hopefully you can see some before the duck hunt starts. I wish it had a shorted season. It really messes with bird watching.

    • Patty Chadwick October 3, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Messes with the ducks’ lives, too!!!

  4. Bob October 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Precious little Scaup, excellent image.

  5. Patty Chadwick October 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

    The water is as beautiful as the bird…in colors and in patterns…

  6. Cindy October 3, 2015 at 9:30 am

    His golden eye, piercing. How I envy your trips, Mia. Thanks for sharing your gifts. 🙂

  7. Lois Bryan October 3, 2015 at 8:31 am

    He is a beauty, Mia!!!!!!! Love that golden eye … great, great capture!!!!

  8. Marilyn Kircus October 3, 2015 at 8:15 am

    This is a bird I can’t even reliably identifyy. Beautiful pic. We find both nasal flukes and tapeworms in the lesser scaup we band at Red Rock Lakes.

  9. [email protected] October 3, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Gorgeous photo Mia of a handsome duck. Weather not good here, no Bison hunting because of it.

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