Scaup: Rough Water Diving Ducks

A few days ago I passed a flock of Scaup along the exposed west side of Cesar Chavez Park and wondered what they might be doing in that location.  I’m more used to seeing them on the sheltered east side.  It’s shallow on the east side and the fertile mud is just a duck’s neck, or two, down.  Then yesterday morning we walked in a brief sort of dry interval between rain storms.  There was a stiff breeze, it was cold, and if you faced southwest you got spray in your face.  Nevertheless, here was a flock of Scaup on the west side.  They faced into the wind, rode the waves, and weren’t bothered by the odd little whitecap.  What could they be doing, I wondered.  As I stared at them, suddenly one of them disappeared.  And then another.  And I had my answer.  In this rough weather and on this water that must be eight to twelve feet deep, they were feeding!  These aren’t your stagnant pond ducks.  These are tough customers.  Hats off to you, Scaup!


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