Harlequin Duck

Histrionicus histrionicus

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

HADU

Code 6

HISHIS

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Harlequin Duck has a large range, estimated globally at 100,000 to 1,000,000 square kilometers. Native to Europe, this bird prefers wetland and marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 190,000 to 390,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Harlequin Duck is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Harlequin Duck: Small diving duck, blue-gray upperparts and underparts, rust-brown flanks. Back, breast and neck have vivid black-bordered white bars. Tail is dark and relatively long. Gray legs, feet. Feeds on insects, mollusks and crustaceans. Rapid direct flight, often low over the water.

 

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.

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Harlequin Duck SONGS AND CALLS

Harlequin Duck P1

Most common call is a mouse-like squeak.

Harlequin Duck A1

Interaction calls from small flock in the water.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

Generally silent

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Harlequin Duck takes its name from Harlequin, a colourfully dressed character in Commedia dell'arte. The species name comes from the Latin word "histrio", or "actor".
  • Also called the Sea mouse because of its very unducklike squeaks. Other names include Circus duck or painted duck for its beautiful colors.
  • They are classified as sea ducks, yet the birds migrate inland to breed.
  • 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.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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