DISTRIBUTION: Confined to New Zealand, the Scaup is widespread on both main Islands and is most common on high country lakes.
HABITAT: Scaup favour large, deep bodies of open water such as lakes and reservoirs. They generally shun running water and marine environments and usually leave the shallow waters to the dabbling ducks.
BREEDING: Nests in October and November on the ground, well hidden in vegetation. The nest is comprised of a rough down-lined pile of reeds or coarse grass. Clutches of 5-9 eggs are incubated by the female for about 28-30 days. Males remain on guard and will help rear ducklings.
FOOD: They are able to dive several metres deep to feed on aquatic plants and insects as well as tadpoles and fresh water crustaceans. Underwater propulsion is provided by the feet, not the wings.
VOICE: Female: muted quacking. Male: series of soft whistles.
GENERAL: The only diving duck in New Zealand. Females resemble males but are paler and browner with a band of white surrounding the base of the bill. They also lack the distinctive yellow iris of the male. They are strongly gregarious, often doing most things in small groups or large flocks