The Bufflehead is a small North American duck that breeds in the Canadian arboreal forests and spends the winter in the US, including here on the coast of Massachusetts. I think it is the “cutest” duck that visits us every winter. It has a compact body, large head and small bill. And pink feet. This makes it look like a toy that a child (and some adults…you know who you are!) would bring to the bathtub. The males have a generally white body with a black back and a large white patch on the back of their head. The rest of their head usually looks black but is amazingly colorful in the right light. The females are gray-brown with a white cheek patch. Here are some recent photos.
It won’t be long before they start doing mating displays that involve bobbing, posturing and short flights. I promise to post some pictures of all the activity.