The Redhead is one of seven North American members of the genus Aythya, from the Greek aithuia, a kind of diving bird.
The White-winged Scoter is one of the world’s three scoters, all of which are seen in winter along the Washington coast. They are all in the genus Melanitta from the Greek melas, black, and netta, a duck. Heinrich Boie (1794-1827) Latinized the Greek word for duck and misspelled it. However, the principle of priority allows the error to stand
The Common Merganser (COME) is about 25” long with 34” wingspan and weighs 3.4 lb (1530 g). The genus name Mergus is Latin for diver. The species name merganser is from Latin mergere meaning to dip, plunge, and anser meaning goose. It is called Common because it may be seen more often than other members of its genus.
The Green-winged Teal (GWTE) is about 14” long with a wingspan of 23” and a weight of 12 oz. (350g). The genus name Anas (AY-nas) is Latin for duck. The species name crecca (CREK-ah) is a Latinized onomatopoetic word to express the quack or creak note of this duck.
The Pacific Harlequin is the only duck in the world that divides its time between oceans and mountains. It spends summers in turbulent mountain streams and winters in rocky coastal waters. Weighing only 1 ½ pounds, a harlequin, 16-18” in length, is about half the size of a wild mallard. The four letter code is HARL.
The Canvasback stands out from the crowd. Its stately presence separates it from other ducks. It has been called “the aristocrat of ducks” (Mobray), and “elegant” (Alderfer). Its large size, sloping forehead and characteristic “dark at both ends and white in the middle” appearance (Bell and Kennedy) make it easy to pick out of a group of other ducks.