Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)


French: Fuligule milouinan German: Bergente Spanish: Porrón bastardo
Other common names: European Scaup (marila), Pacific Scaup (nearctica)

Anas Marila


, 1761,



Generally considered to be closest to A. affinis. Has hybridized with several congeners. Proposed name mariloides, sometimes applied to NE Asian and/or North American populations, is invalid, as it was attached to specimens of A. affinis; now replaced by name nearctica. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. m. marila (Linnaeus, 1761) – N Eurasia from Iceland E to R Lena, Siberia; winters mainly in NW Europe and around Adriatic, Black and Caspian Seas.
  • A. m. nearctica Stejneger, 1885 – NE Siberia from R Lena E to Bering Sea coast, Aleutian Is, and Alaska E through C Canada to Atlantic coast; winters on Pacific coast of Asia as far S as SE China, and on both coasts of North America S to Baja California and Gulf Coast, also on Great Lakes.
  • Descriptive notes

    40–51 cm; male 850–1372 g, female 700–1312 g; wingspan 72–84 cm. Breeding male has head and neck black glossed green or purple, breast, upper mantle,... read more


    Like other Aythya generally rather silent during non-breeding season: male gives two main... read more


    Breeds on shallow, small lakes, rivers and pools in tundra and wooded tundra zones at high... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous: molluscs often major item in diet; 80–95% of stomach contents in one study in Denmark, but introduced zebra mussels (... read more


    Starts May to early Jun, mainly mid May in Fennoscandia and N Russia, and from late May in Iceland. Seasonally monogamous, with pairs... read more


    Migratory, though perhaps only partially in some areas (e.g. some remain in Iceland in winter, and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common and widespread, but population trends poorly known, except locally in parts of Europe, where increases and decreases have been... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Greater Scaup (Aythya marila). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).