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Friday, November 11, 2011

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)

Today's post brings up to date the list of newly arrived winter residents with these photos of some Bufflehead Ducks (Bucephala albeola). There are still a few more wintering birds that I have not seen yet this year - Goldeneye Ducks for one. The photo above is of a male Bufflehead. Below are a couple of males and a female. Most of these small ducks (and mergansers) are busy these days flirting and bonding. The males in the photo below are engaging in one of the flirting behaviors. They get low in the water and then chug along at high speed for a short distance, creating lots of showy turbulence to impress the coy female. This is coupled with standing up and spreading the wings impressively. While they flirt and bond at this season, I haven't seen any that were consummating their relationships. I'm guessing that they do not actually mate until after they fly to their summer nesting areas in the spring.

1 comment:

JoJo said...

I really need to pay more attention to the bird life that is around here. I never notice anything other than mallards and geese in our local ponds.