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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Bufflehead

Hebrides bird sightings -  Bufflehead
Female 1st Winter

Bufflehead

(Buffalo-Headed Duck, Buffle-Headed Duck, Bufflehead, Bufflehead Duck, Little Brown Duck, Bumblebee Duck, Butter Duck, Butter-Back, Little Black and White Duck, Marionette, Robin Dipper, Spirit Duck, Wool Duck,Butter-Box, Butterball, Conjuring Duck, Dapper, Dipper, Dipper-Duck, Dopper, Hell-Diver)

Bucephala albeola

Photography © Martin Scott
Loch na Muilne - Arnol - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
8th June, 2007

 

  • Bufflehead (Buffalo-Headed Duck, Buffle-Headed Duck, Bufflehead, Bufflehead Duck, Little Brown Duck, Bumblebee Duck, Butter Duck, Butter-Back, Little Black and White Duck, Marionette, Robin Dipper, Spirit Duck, Wool Duck,Butter-Box, Butterball, Conjuring Duck, Dapper, Dipper, Dipper-Duck, Dopper, Hell-Diver)
  • Bucephala albeola
  • UK: 10 records 1958 - 2004
  • UK: Accidental / Vagrant
  • WI: Accidental / Vagrant. Single records in 2004 & 2007
  • Breeds: Cavities in trees. Wooded lakes and ponds, rivers. North America
  • Winters: Migratory. Protected coasts.Open inland water. South of breeding range to Mexico
  • Diet: Feeds by foraging underwater (4-15 ft). Freshwater: invertebrates, some seeds. Saltwaters: Crustaceans & molluscs. Some plant material.
  • Small seaduck. Adult male head glossy, greenish-black and bulbous. Large white patch on side of head - behind eye. Body mostly white. Black back. Adult female brown head (smaller white patch behind eye). Body mostly brown - light underside.
  • Similar birds: Goldeneye, Smew (rare here), Goosesander (fairly rare)

 

 

Bufflehead records in the Western Isles

Bufflehead is a rare visitor to the UK, with only ten records between 1958 and 2004.
The Western isles being the 2004 record.

It is very unlikely to ever breed here according to the following information from the BTO web site:
"...The Bufflehead nests almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers (a type of American woodpecker)..."

 

The chart below shows how abundant the Bufflehead is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

   

 

             

(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)

 

 

 

Male or female ducks and their collective nouns

Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.

Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
waterfowl (on water) A raft
waterfowl A bunch of waterfowl
waterfowl (less than 30) A knob
ducks, swimming A paddling of ducks
waterfowl A plump
ducks, idle in water A raft of ducks
ducks, diving A dopping of ducks
ducks, on ground A badelynge of ducks
ducks, flying A flight, plump, or team of ducks
ducks A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush

 

 

Loch na Muilne is a new RSPB reserve, a breeding ground of phalarope.

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section


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