Bucephala albeola

A Bufflehead drake

The original name of this duck was the "buffalo-head," due to the similarity of its head shape with that of a bull bison. These small diving ducks are related to the Goldeneyes. They are widespread across North America and winter as far south as northern Mexico.

The breeding male has a massive white spot dominating the rear of his high-domed head. Very active little ducks, they are constantly in motion and when they do choose to rest they prefer to do so on the water, rather than on land.

These are not very sociable ducks. Pair formation begins in the late winter. They are hole nesters, choosing trees not far from water.

Bufflehead Links:

Texas Parks and Wildlife has put up a page on the Bufflehead.

A pair of Buffleheads

Bufflehead females

A Bufflehead drake dives
Photos copyright of Romain Kang

A pair of Bufflehead, male on the left, at Frazier's Aviaries

Another shot of the same pair

Another Bufflehead drake
Photo copyright of Romain Kang

Another shot of the drake at the top of the page, with a clearer view of his beak

A Bufflehead hen
Photo courtesy of Stefan

A drake in flight
Photo copyright of Romain Kang

Buffleheads on the coast off San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Stefan



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