– A Miniature Marvel
The Bufflehead is a North American bird that belongs to the family of waterfowl. It is one of the smallest diving ducks found in Canada and the United States, measuring only 13-16 inches in length and weighing just over one pound. Despite their small size, these birds have some distinctive features that make them a fascinating species.
Buffleheads are known for their striking appearance with black and white feathers on their body. Males have a glossy greenish-black head with a large white patch behind each eye and an iridescent purple-blue sheen on their wings. Females have brown feathers on top of their head instead of black, as well as a smaller white patch behind each eye.
Where To Find This Bird:
These petite birds are common throughout North America during winter months from Alaska to Mexico, but they breed only in western Canada and Alaska. They prefer freshwater habitats like ponds, lakes or slow-moving rivers.
During breeding season buffleheads occupy natural tree cavities close to freshwater sources or in nest boxes provided by conservationists or wildlife managers,. These ducks are solitary creatures; you often see them swimming alone rather than gathering together as flocks like other duck species.
Buffleheads feed mainly on aquatic animals such as insects larvae, small crustaceans (crabs), mollusks (snails), tadpoles fish eggs amongst others which they dive up to depths of six meters deep around sunken logs or submerged vegetation beds.
Here are some exciting facts about this miniature marvel:
– Buffleheads can fly at speeds up to 55 mph.
– They can stay underwater for up to 20 seconds while hunting.
– During courtship displays males will bob their heads rapidly while emitting low-pitched sounds
– Their population has been increasing since hunting restrictions were placed upon them decades ago.
– Their common name “bufflehead” is derived from the French word for buffalo, “buffle,” due to their large head and neck.
In conclusion, Buffleheads may be small but they should not be overlooked. They are a fascinating and unique species with their striking black and white plumage, solitary nature, natural habitat preferences of freshwater sources, and diving skills. These tiny ducks have adapted well to changes in their environment over time thanks in part to conservation efforts aimed at protecting them. The next time you’re near freshwater during winter months keep your eyes peeled on the water surface for these miniature marvels!