/skawp/, n.
any of several diving ducks of the genus Aythya, esp. A. marila (greater scaup), of the Northern Hemisphere, having a bluish-gray bill. Also called scaup duck.
[1665-75; by ellipsis from scaup duck, prob. with Scots, N dial. scaup, scalp mussel bed (of uncert. orig.)]

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Any of three species (genus Aythya, family Anatidae) of diving ducks.

The greater scaup, or big bluebill (A. marila), breeds across Eurasia and most of the Nearctic region. The lesser scaup, or little bluebill (A. affinis), breeds in northwestern North America. Both are popular game birds, 15–20 in. (38–51 cm) long, that winter along the U.S. coasts. Males have a dark breast and grayish back but differ in head colour and wing markings; females are brown with white patches around the blue bill. Scaups eat mainly clams. The third species is the New Zealand scaup (A. novaeseelandiae).

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also called  Bluebill 

      (genus Aythya), any of three species of diving ducks (diving duck) (family Anatidae). The greater scaup (A. marila), also called the big bluebill, breeds across Eurasia and most of the Nearctic region. The lesser scaup (A. affinis), a New World species also known as the little bluebill, breeds across the northwest quadrant of North America. In the New World both species winter along the coasts of the United States; the lesser scaup reaches central Mexico. Both popular game birds, these two species are very hard to differentiate in the field. Both are about 38–51 cm (15–20 inches) long. Males have dark breasts and grayish backs; the head of the greater scaup is dark green, that of the lesser scaup is glossed with purple but may have tinges of green. Females are brown with white patches around their blue bills. The diet is composed mainly of clams. The third species is the New Zealand scaup (A. novaeseelandiae). In flight, the white stripe on the rear of the wing extends almost to the wingtip in the greater scaup and only halfway in the lesser scaup.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scaup — (sk[add]p), n. [See {Scalp} a bed of oysters or mussels.] 1. A bed or stratum of shellfish; scalp. [Scot.] [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) A scaup duck. See below. [1913 Webster] {Scaup duck} (Zo[ o]l.), any one of several species of northern ducks… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scaup — may refer to:* Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, a political party in Scotland* One of three species of diving duck: ** Greater Scaup or just Scaup, Aythya marila ** Lesser Scaup, Aythya affinis ** New Zealand Scaup, Aythya… …   Wikipedia

  • scaup — [skôp] n. pl. scaups or scaup [obs. var. of scalp, mussel bed: prob. so named from eating habits] any of several wild ducks of the same genus (Aythya) as the redhead, canvasback, etc.: also scaup duck …   English World dictionary

  • scaup — noun (plural scaup or scaups) Etymology: short for scaup duck; scaup probably alteration of scalp bed of shellfish Date: 1797 either of two diving ducks (Aythya affinis or A. marila) with the male having a glossy purplish or greenish head and a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • scaup — /ˈskɔp/ (say skawp) noun any of certain diving ducks of the genus Aythya, especially the greater scaup, A. marila, of Europe and America. Also, scaup duck. {compare British dialect (northern) scaup, scalp oyster or mussel bed (on which scaups… …   Australian English dictionary

  • scaup — n. diving duck of North America which has a bluish gray beak (also called scaup duck) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • scaup — [[t]skɔp[/t]] n. orn any of several diving ducks of the genus Aythya, esp. A. marila, of the Northern Hemisphere, having a bluish gray bill • Etymology: 1665–75; by ellipsis from scaup duck …   From formal English to slang

  • scaup — n. any diving duck of the genus Aythya. Etymology: scaup Sc. var. of scalp mussel bed, which it frequents …   Useful english dictionary

  • scaup — noun a) Any of three species of small diving duck in the genus Aythya. b) ; a bed or stratum of shellfish …   Wiktionary

  • scaup — [skɔ:p] noun a diving duck, the male of which has a black head with a green or purple gloss. [Aythya marila and related species.] Origin C17: Scots var. of Scots and north. Engl. scalp mussel bed , a feeding ground of the duck …   English new terms dictionary

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