Bufflehead

Bucephala albeola

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

BUFF

Code 6

BUCALB

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Bufflehead breeds on lakes and rivers in Alaska, much of Canada, and at scattered sites in the western United States. It winters on lakes, rivers, and coastal waters in much of the United States, southern Alaska, and western Canada south to central Mexico. It has also occurred as a vagrant to Europe. The population of the Bufflehead is around 1.2 million individual birds, and the species has a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Bufflehead: This small diving duck is mostly white with a glossy green-black to purple-black head and back. The head has a large white patch behind eye. The wings are dark with white patches visible in flight. It feeds on aquatic plant seeds, and insects, larvae and snails. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Bufflehead: Breeds in Alaska and in Canada east to western Quebec, and south in the mountains to Washington, California and Montana. Spends winters along the Atlantic to northern Florida and across the southern U.S., and south to Mexico and the Gulf coast. Preferred habitats include lakes, ponds, saltwater bays, and estuaries.

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Bufflehead SONGS AND CALLS

Bufflehead AAA1

Chattering calls made during displays.

Bufflehead A1

Wing flaps and low quacks from flushing female.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Quack"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Bufflehead was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist.
  • They nest almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers.
  • Unlike many ducks, it is mostly monogamous, often remaining with the same mate for several years.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

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