The Buffleheads

Continuing with what appears to have turned into duck week here on the blog I present the Buffleheads. They make a fine couple don’t they.
They usually seem to keep to the middle of the lakes around here in winter but when it gets cold and the lakes freeze over they move the the nearby creeks where we get a closer look at these amazing little ducks.

From allaboutbird..

“Buffleheads are a buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds, the tiny Bufflehead spends winters bobbing in bays, estuaries, reservoirs, and lakes. Males are striking black-and white from a distance. A closer look at the head shows glossy green and purple setting off the striking white patch. Females are a subdued gray-brown with a neat white patch on the cheek. Bufflehead nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America.”



11 thoughts on “The Buffleheads

    1. Jim, from wikipedia….

      The bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) is a small sea duck of the genus Bucephala, the goldeneyes. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Anas albeola.[2]

      The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek boukephalos, “bullheaded”, from bous, “bull ” and kephale, “head”, a reference to the oddly bulbous head shape of the species. The species name albeola is from Latin albus, “white”.[3] The English name is a combination of buffalo and head, again referring to the head shape.[4] This is most noticeable when the male puffs out the feathers on the head, thus greatly increasing the apparent size of the head.

  1. Oh how I love the buffleheads. Fantastic photos, Mike. It’s lovely when the sun lights up the male’s dark head patches to reveal iridescence, and they cooperate long enough before popping underwater. I think I was part of what you referred to as duck week–how ducky!

    1. Hi Jet, We really enjoy seeing these guys out on the local creeks. We only seem to be able to get close enough for good photos when the ponds freeze over and these guys are forced onto the creeks. Duck week is fun isn’t it. We actually have a few weeks left for duck viewing a sthey seem to leave by late Feb.

    1. Hi Eliza, the males are sure magnificent and when the light is just right gives those jewel tones. The creek that these guys swim on always give interesting backgrounds either in the water or the reflections.

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