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Thread: Duck ID test

  1. #1
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default Duck ID test

    Looking at Bowtechshooters recent photo post I noticed that he said he took his limit of 10 birds and indeed he shows ten birds on the tail gate. However, he actually is three ducks short of his 10 bird "duck" limit. He is seven birds short of his 10 bird "sea duck" limit.

    What species of sea duck did he take in the interior of Alaska?

    Are they all three females or are they a mix of juvenile males and females?

    How would he tell? Is it the eye color? or the wing color? Patches on the face? How would he tell if the males were adults?

    Wishing you had a LeMaster's Method book right now? Bowtech probably is wishing for it since he could have taken three more mallards today. Or seven more mystery sea ducks far from the ocean. No need to drive all the way to Valdez.

  2. #2
    Member KUMA's Avatar
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    Default Quiz

    7 mallards 4 Hens/3 Drakes or the one on the left is a Black duck (can't tell from the pic). 2 Bufflehead and the last one to the right is a golden eye.

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    Default Interesting

    Looks like the two just right of the mallards are good sized birds. Too big for butterballs (buffleheads) they are closer to scaup size. I'd love to see the feet and wings. Broad bills though.
    The duck on the right is definitely a surf scoter. What she's doing in the interior. I saw a male on the Chena river a couple weeks ago and had me scratching my head why he was here. Check out the picture on
    http://www.ducks.org/hunting/waterfo.../87/index.html
    and you'll see it is her to a tee.
    All three may be the same. Check this out the immature bird illustration may be it. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/b...st/scoters.htm

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    Default I am curious too!

    I got two the other day that were identical to the 2nd and 3rd in from the right... pretty big flock that I jump-shot -- still limiting myself to no more than 2 at a time until I learn which ones are tasty and which ones are not so tasty... These ones were not so tasty in my opinion... curious what they are... (those 2 were also my reason for starting the Duck ID thread as they had me pretty stumped). AK Ray -- do you have the solution to this puzzle? If so shoot me a pm if you would be so kind... I promise not to tell any other forum members until you have unveiled the answer here...

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Mark
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    Default

    Making a complete identification of a duck is more art than science:

    A hillbilly went hunting one day in Georgia and bagged three ducks. He put them in the bed of his pickup truck and was about to drive home when he was confronted by an ornery game warden who didn't like hillbillies. The game warden ordered the hillbilly to show his hunting license; the hillbilly pulled out a valid Georgia hunting license.

    The game warden looked at the license, then reached over and picked up one of the ducks, sniffed its butt, and said, 'This duck ain't from Georgia. This is a Tennessee duck. You got a Tennessee huntin' license, boy?'

    The hillbilly reached into his wallet and produced a Tennessee hunting license.

    The game warden looked at it, then reached over and grabbed the second duck, sniffed its butt,and said 'This ain't no Tennessee duck. This duck's from Mississippi. You got a Mississippi license?'

    The hillbilly reached into his wallet and produced a Mississippi hunting license.

    The warden then reached over and picked up the third duck, sniffed its butt, and said,

    'This ain't no Mississippi duck. This here duck's from South Carolina .. You got a South Carolina huntin' license?'

    Again the hillbilly reached into his wallet and brought out a South Carolina hunting license.

    The game warden was extremely frustrated at this point, and he yelled at the hillbilly, 'Boy, just where the hell are you from?'

    The hillbilly turned around, dropped his pants, bent over, and said, 'You tell me. You're the expert.'

  6. #6
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    Default

    We have lots of sea ducks here in the interior, all three scoter (surf, white-wing, black), harlequin, old squaw (now long-tail), and two types of mergansers (common & red-breasted). They all nest on interior waters. You will see a lot of them in the spring on the bigger lakes, less so in the fall. They change their migrations some, so less seem to come back through.

    As a helpful hint, sea ducks turn back to winter plumage quicker than other ducks. So most are already in the plumage they will spend the rest of the winter in. May help some on the ID quiz.

    Also as a side note. If you choose to shoot 10 “regular ducks” and then more sea ducks, make sure you have regs and know your ids to species. The trooper may not understand why there is sea ducks in the interior and not believe you. Have had a very confused trooper check me on day.

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    Default

    That is to funny , I think I heard that once before but brings a good chuckle when hearing it. Tealer wins and Ray is right....4/hens, 3/drakes and 3/scoter. Wasnt even thinking about the 10 per on Sunday until you just brought it up. Just wish we had a tundra swan season because there were also about 150 of them monsters on the lakes......

  8. #8
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default

    Bowtrech is right on. Even in the not so great photo they appear to be white wing scoter hens. The double white eye patches are the give away. If the eyes are gray then they are juvy drakes.

    I had to double check the regs to see if the 10 birds/day was an aggregate limit or not. It appears that it is not and you can take 20 birds a day as long as you know which species is classified as which type of waterfowl.

    Scoters are typically cooked on a cedar blank. When well done throw the scoter away and eat the blank. Might need ketchup, but tooth picks are built in.

    Lots of guys turn them into spicy salami and stuff. Some folks are really good cooks and can turn them into decent table far with marinades and spices and quality cooking temps and times. I am not one of those guys.

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    Default

    Thanks for starting the thread AK RAY. They were white wing scoters and didnt really examine the eyes for juveniles or not. I totally forgot about the 10 duck limits for both common and sea ducks, your right when you said I wish had checked out Lemasters. You dont really think about things like that when you seldom get to shoot sea ducks in the interior, it seems that there are more and more getting to the interior and hanging around. Thanks again for your great input

  10. #10
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    Default Duck ID

    I shot some Surf Scoters off Manchu Lake on Eielson 5 years ago. A friend of mine had one of the drakes mounted. The picture below is a Surf Scoter hen. If you look at the picture Bowtechshooter has, the one on the far right looks very similar. My guess is 2 adult and 1 Surf Scoter hens.



  11. #11
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    Default Solved

    Pictures below are from Ducks Unlimited. They provide Pictures and sound of ducks if anyone is interested in looking at there website.


    Surf Scoter



    White-winged Scoter

  12. #12
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    Default

    So I am by no means a expert sea duck identifier but a surf and white winged scoter hen and immature look almost the same but the sure way to tell the difference is the wing, all three were white winged scoters. Yes the one on the right is immature but the 2nd and third from the right are mature hens. Here is another site I just found....http://www.alaskaduckhuntingguides.com/black_brant.htm

  13. #13
    Member ruckus's Avatar
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    Default Duck ID

    Ducks at a distance is the best for me to figure out what you are looking at. Especially with all of the "brown birds" up here. Yesterday did some hunting out on the flats. The big lake I hunted produced a lesser scaup, a mature widgeon and two white wing scoters. Sure are big birds.

    Good luck everyone.

  14. #14
    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default So Im out rabbit hunting today.....

    And this fella flies into range..Cant figure out what it is.....If I had to guess, I'd say scoter...but Im no expert....two ducks this season...What's he gonna taste like?

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    Its a hen Goldeneye.

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    Default

    was this the only bird you saw or did more cruise by you when you were out there.

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    Who knows if it is a barrows or common goldeneye?

  18. #18
    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the ID..

    Still cant seem to find a positive ID over the internet. She was the only bird I saw today, actually was quite surprized, we jumped her and missed and she came back around and I winged her. I guess theres a few still flying around after all.
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  19. #19
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    Default

    looks like a hen common goldeneye by the beak and the wing.

  20. #20
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    Default Second

    Waldos guess. I think the barrows has yellowish bill.

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