[CT Birds] Sex of the Tufted Duck

Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Sun Feb 22 20:41:52 EST 2015

I just reviewed my photos of the Tufted Duck, and did a pretty exhaustive search online of photos of the species, and I agree that this individual is an adult female (even though she has a fairly long tuft for a female - certainly not uncommon, based on photos). 
Also, I see no field marks to indicate that this is a hybrid (with scaup, Ringed-necked Duck, etc.).
My photos show the bird scratching itself, and there are no bands, at least on the right leg.
By the way, Rachel Farrell reports that the female Tufted Duck in Providence, RI was seen again today. So this is definitely a different bird.
Congratulations to Tina Green for discovering this regional rarity.

Frank Mantlik

On Sunday, February 22, 2015 7:49 PM, charles barnard jr via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:

I just wanted to add that not all female Tufted Ducks have white undertail
coverts. According to "Waterfowl" by Madge and Burn, only female variants
have them. Males are neither mentioned as having them in the very detailed
text, nor are males depicted in the illustrations as having them. I don't
know how common those female variants are, but the bird seen today
definitely showed white undertail coverts.
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