Barry Kent MacKayArt by Barry Kent MacKay
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In this section are copies of original works of art. All of them are dedicated to helping us live according to unconditional love and compassion, which is the foundation of our peaceful means of bringing true and lasting peace to all of God's creatures, whether they are human beings or other animals.

Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)



(Artwork - 108)
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)

I have a particular affection for this species of duck, endemic to the western hemisphere, and endemic, as a breeding species, to North America, although they may migrate in winter as far south as the West Indies and through Central America to the northern tip of South America. And like many duck species, they are strong flyers and probably the odd one reaches Eurasia. They are very similar to the Greater Scaup (A. marila), which is known simply as the Scaup in the UK and other English-speaking countries outside of the Americas, but as their name implies the Lessers are smaller. They have several other rather distinctive differences, especially evident in the adult males in full breeding plumage. The average weight of the male is about 850 grams, whereas that of the Greater Scaup is around 1,000 grams.

The head of the Lesser is not as flatly rounded as that of the Greater, looking almost tufted at times, although lacking the more crested look of a related Eurasian species, the Tufted Duck (A. fuligula). The Tufted Duck, in turn, has a black back, as does a North American counterpart, the Ring-necked Duck (A. collaris). There are several other extremely attractive ducks in the genus, known in English as scaups, or pochards, found in various parts of the world.

But in this small study I have shown a young male, in February, with only some of the appearance of the adult showing.

Lesser Scaups are diving ducks that nest from Alaska across northern North America as far east as Ontario. They nest on the ground in open wetlands, sloughs and marshes and in winter the visit larger lakes, ponds, rivers and so on, where there is open water, often in company with other diving duck species. My painting shows a bird at Swan Lake, just outside of Victoria; a lovely protected marsh where I was able to get very close to the birds.

This painting is 9 X 12 inches, in acrylics on a birch panel mounted on a basswood frame and it smaller than life size, really just a simple study, fun to do.

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Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
Barry describes himself as a Canadian artist/writer/naturalist.
See his website: http://barrykentmackay.ca/

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