Bufflehead

Bufflehead
Photo: Keith Sutton

Buffleheads are small ducks with puffy heads on a chunky, short-necked body. The white wing patches are conspicuous. Males have a large white head patch extending from the eye over the back of the head. The female is dusky and has a slanting white cheek patch.

Buffleheads are among the fastest flying ducks with one of the most rapid wingbeats. In flight, the single broad white bands on the wings of males and the white speculum of the females contrast sharply with the dark outer parts of the wings. Most flocks consist of pairs and trios. Unlike most divers, buffleheads can fly straight up when taking off from the water.

Bufflehead Key Field Marks

Very small diving duck with a large white patch on the head behind the eye (male) or a small oval white patch on the head behind the eye (female).

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