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Harlequin duck (male)

Histrionicus histrionicus


These are small sea ducks. The males are very colorful with a complex plumage pattern. The females are less colorful as seen in pics 2 and 3.


Spotted at Rosario Beach in Deception Pass State Park.Their breeding habitat is cold fast moving streams in north-western and north-eastern North America, Greenland, Iceland and eastern Russia. The nest is usually located in a well-concealed location on the ground near a stream. They are usually found near pounding surf and white water.


These birds feed by swimming under water or diving. They also dabble. They eat molluscs, crustaceans and insects. Harlequins have smooth, densely packed feathers that trap a lot of air within them. This is vital for insulating such small bodies against the chilly waters they ply. It also makes them exceptionally buoyant, making them bounce like corks after dives.

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Spotted by

Washington, USA

Lat: 48.41, Long: -122.67

Spotted on Dec 9, 2018
Submitted on Dec 10, 2018

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