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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)




Bufflehead | Bucephala albeola photo
Bufflehead (Male), Upper Huntington Bay Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach, California

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Bufflehead | Bucephala albeola photo
Bufflehead (Female), Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach, California

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

BUFFLEHEAD FACTS

Description
The Bufflehead is a black and white diving duck with a gray bill and white patch on side of head. The male has a black back and head, white sides and large white patch on head. In the breeding season the male has iridescent purple and green sheen on the head and the white patch extends round the back of the head. The wings have large white patch that is prominent when the duck is seen in flight. The female has dark brown head with small white patch near the ear, dark brown back and gray underside. Immature birds are similar to adult females with duller ear patch.

Size
length 32cm - 40cm. Wingspan 55 cm

Environment
freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers.

Food
Insects, crustaceans, some seeds.

Breeding
Makes a nest lined with down in a tree hollow. Lays four to seventeen (commonly six to eleven) cream colored eggs.

Range
The Bufflehead breeds in Alaska and through Canada to western Quebec. Winters in Alaska, Canada, through most of the United States to Mexico.

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Anseriformes
Family:Anatidae
Genus:Bucephala
Species:albeola
Common Name:Bufflehead


Relatives in same Genus
  Common Goldeneye (B. clangula)
  Barrow's Goldeneye (B. islandica)