Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Bufflehead Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 
General Information
- Very small compact diving duck
- Very small dark gray bill
- Immature female similar to adult female, but immature
  male has a larger white cheek patch

Adult male alternate
- Alternate plumage worn from fall through early
  summer
- Dark glossy head
- Large white patch on the head from behind the eye
- White breast, belly and flanks
- Dark back
- Inner wing white and outer wing dark, visible in flight

Adult male basic
- Similar to adult female but with a larger white cheek
  patch

Adult female
- Dark brown head and body, breast and flanks paler
- Oval white patch on face behind eye
- White belly
- White inner secondaries and otherwise dark wing,
  visible in flight

Similar species
Female Bufflehead distinguished from female Harlequin Duck by white secondaries and single white patch behind the eye.
 
 
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