Greater Scaup male (Aythya marila)

Every time I think I know something, nature proves me wrong. Just recently I posted an item about scaup needing to get up on a rock in order to preen their breast feathers (“Getting High (Not)” May 19). As if to educate me (do they read the blog?) this scaup male — one of the very last of his ilk to migrate — showed that he could very well preen his breast feathers without getting out of the water. He rolled over on his back, with both paddle feet pointing at the sky, and did the job. I didn’t think they could do that! Somehow in the back of my mind I equated the bird with a boat; if you turned it over, it would sink.

Click for more scaup items on this blog, some of them wrong. This is not an ordinary educational blog. It is the diary of a blogger getting an education.

Greater Scaup male (Aythya marila)

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