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Friday, December 13, 2013

Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola)

There is a large flock of Bufflehead Ducks (Bucephala albeola) wintering off the West Bay Walkway this last month or so. They are wonderfully buoyant diving ducks that have to work very hard to stay under the water and pop up like some kind of children's toy as soon as they stop striving. They have two other behaviors that I suspect are associated with mating since only the males do them. The first is what is pictured above - standing up on the surface and flapping the wings vigorously a few times. The second behavior is what I call "motorboating" since it consists of paddling very fast on the surface so as to throw up a dramatic bow wave. Both these activities are done near females.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

They're beautiful birds!