- Length: 10 inches Wingspan: 24 inches
- Very small compact diving duck
- Very small dark gray bill
- Immature female similar to adult female, but immature male has a larger
white cheek patch
Adult male alternate:
- Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer
- Dark glossy head
- Large white patch on the head from behind the eye
- White breast, belly and flanks
- Dark back
- Inner wing white and outer wing dark, visible in flight
Adult male basic:
- Similar to adult female but with a larger white cheek patch
- Dark brown head and body, breast and flanks paler
- Oval white patch on face behind eye
- White belly
- White inner secondaries and otherwise dark wing, visible in flight
Female Bufflehead distinguished from female Harlequin Duck by white
secondaries and single white patch behind the eye.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds
of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Above information used courtesy of
United States Geological Survey.