Two male Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula) have been spending the winter on the Columbia River near the Portland airport (Birding Oregon p. 63). One of these birds appears to be a Tufted Duck X scaup hybrid.
- The back is a dark gray, not black as expected on a male Tufted Duck.
- The sides are dingy, not brilliant white, but this is common on young Tufted Ducks.
- The bill is virtually identical to that of a Greater Scaup. A Tufted Duck should show more black on the bill tip.
- The tuft, though short, is very thick and stiff, not whispy as I would expect on a molting Tufted.