Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Bucephala albeola (male)
It's been absolutely pouring all day, and all this water is making me think of Ducks. So lets learn about one today, shall we?

The Bufflehead is a Duck that is found in the lake, ponds, and oceans in and around North America. They migrate seasonally, spending winters further south and their summers breeding in more inland areas of Canada and Alaska. Sometimes they end up in far away places during these migrations-- birds have been found in Japan and in Western Europe!

Buffleheads feed on a variety of different aquatic plants and animals-- it all depends on their location. Ducks that live near lakes and ponds consume more insects, while ocean-dwelling ducks consume mollusks and crustaceans.

Buffleheads are relatively unique among Ducks in that they remain monogamous for several years. They nest in trees, utilizing old cavities that were often created by Northern Flickers or Pileated Woodpeckers. Around 10 Ducklings are born each season, and when they are only a day old they leap down on to ground from their nest-- a jump that can be several feet!

As with many Ducks, Buffleheads exhibit sexual dimorphism. Males are white with black backs. They also have very large white patches that wrap around the back of the head, which is otherwise iridescent green and purple. Females are grey-brown all over, with a small white cheek spot.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North Africa
Size : Body length up to 16in (40cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Anseriformes
Family : Anatidae -- Genus : Bucephala -- Species : B. albeola
Image : Benutzer, DickDaniels

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