Waterfowl ID: Bufflehead – Ducks Unlimited; All About Birds: Bufflehead – The Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Quick Facts. These diving birds forage underwater. The bufflehead has a wingspan of 21.6 in (55 cm). 1972. The Bufflehead is an extremely rare vagrant to western Europe. Aquatic plants and fish eggs can often become locally important food items, as well. Species. In some of these cases, the birds may have escaped from captivity. Males are striking black-and white from a distance. Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Heading out with your binoculars can be a lot of fun – especially when you can spot a few characters in the crowd. They are migratory and most of them winter in protected coastal waters, or open inland waters, on the east and west coasts of North America and the southern United States. Because of their striking plumage, highly active nature, and proximity to humans on waterfront properties, buffleheads are one of the most popular birds amongst bird watchers. There was one recorded instance of a female Barrow's goldeneye killing a bufflehead adult female and her brood. The bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) is a small sea duck of the genus Bucephala, the goldeneyes. Females are a subdued gray-brown with a neat white patch on the cheek. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. [6] In freshwater habitats, they eat primarily insects, and in saltwater, they feed predominantly on crustaceans and mollusks. Their breeding habitat is wooded lakes and ponds in Alaska and Canada, almost entirely included in the boreal forest or taiga habitat. One California fossil that resembles a modern Bufflehead dates to the late Pliocene, two million years ago. Females are a subdued gray-brown with a neat white patch on the cheek. Smaller cavities are preferred because of less competition with the larger goldeneyes. In contrast to many other seaducks that have declined in recent decades, bufflehead numbers have remained relatively constant. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. 240 pages, "Bufflehead Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology", Bufflehead at Birds of North America Online, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bufflehead&oldid=984035608, Native birds of the Northwestern United States, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 19:37. A mother duck looks on while twelve of her adorable ducklings attempt to overcome what is to them a very large obstacle, the stairs. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. Customisable bufflehead duck gifts - t-shirts, posters, mugs, accessories and more from Zazzle. Bufflehead normally live only in North America, but in winter they occasionally show up elsewhere, including Kamchatka, Japan, Greenland, Iceland, the British Isles, Belgium, France, Finland, and Czechoslovakia. A closer look at the head shows glossy green and purple setting off the striking white patch. Bufflehead nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America. Buffleheads are monogamous, and the females return to the same breeding site, year after year. Buffleheads primarily live on open waters and adjacent wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers. Habitat. Related to the goldeneyes and, like them, nests in cavities; but unlike other hole-nesting ducks, the Bufflehead is small enough to use unmodified old nest holes of Northern Flickers, giving it a ready source of good nest sites. Their breeding habitat is wooded lakes and ponds in Alaska and Canada, almost entirely included in the boreal forest or taiga habitat.Buffleheads do not tend to collect in huge flocks; groups are usua… Nest competitors include mountain bluebird (Sialia currucoides), tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), and European starling. [6] Buffleheads are amongst the last waterfowl to leave their breeding grounds and one of the world's most punctual migrants, arriving on their wintering grounds within a narrow margin of time.[8]. Check out our bufflehead duck selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops. Migration season provides some of the best bird watching opportunities, particularly for waterfowl.