Harlequin Duck

Histrionicus histrionicus

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

HADU

Code 6

HISHIS

ITIS

Egg Color:

Pale buff or creamy white



Number of Eggs:

3 - 10



Incubation Days:

27 - 30



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

On ground, near water.



Nest Material:

Grasses, twigs, weeds lined with down.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Harlequin Duck: Small diving duck with blue-gray upperparts and underparts, and rust-brown flanks. Back, breast and neck have vivid black-bordered white bars. Tail is dark and relatively long. Female is scaled brown with paler belly and white spots in front of and behind eyes.

Range and Habitat

Harlequin Duck: Breeds from Alaska and Yukon south to Wyoming and Oregon, and from southern Baffin Island south to Labrador and Gaspe Peninsula. Spends winters along coasts south to California and the Carolinas; also in Eurasia. Preferred habitats include swift-moving streams in summer; and rocky, wave-lashed coasts and jetties in winter.

Breeding and Nesting

Harlequin Duck: Three to ten creamy white or pale buff eggs are laid in a nest made of down concealed in a rock crevice near a stream. Incubation ranges from 27 to 30 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Harlequin Duck: Eats blackfly, stonefly, caddisfly, and mayfly larvae in mountain rivers; fish eggs are also consumed when available. On the coast, feeds on snails, limpets, crabs, chitins, and mussels; in late winter congregates to feed on herring spawn.

Vocalization

Harlequin Duck: Emits mouse-like squeaks and low whistles.

Similar Species

Harlequin Duck: None in range.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X