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From Opus

Breeding Male Photo by Forcreeks  Marina Del Rey, California.
Breeding Male
Photo by Forcreeks
Marina Del Rey, California.
Bucephala albeola


[edit] Identification

32-40 cm (12½-15¾ in)

  • Glossy black head (can look blue, green or purple depending on the light) with large white patch
  • Black back
  • White breast, stomach, and flanks
  • Bluish bill


  • Brown body
  • Paler underparts
  • Brown head
  • White patch behind eye

[edit] Distribution

United States, Alaska and Canada. Winters to Mexico and Greater Antilles

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Small ponds and lakes with surrounding woodland. Winters on small ponds, lakes, and rivers inland, also in shallow bays and estuaries along the coasts.

Photo by CurtMorganBearskin Neck, Rockport, Massachusetts, USA, January 2010
Photo by CurtMorgan
Bearskin Neck, Rockport, Massachusetts, USA, January 2010

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

They nest in tree cavities. The 5-10 eggs are incubated for 28-33 days; the young fledge at 45-55 days.

[edit] Diet

The diet includes crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants and fish eggs. It feeds by submerging and obtaining food underwater.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. South Dakota Birds and Birding

[edit] External Links


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