Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

Harlequin Duck

From Opus

Male (left) and female (right)Photo by Gaukur Iceland
Male (left) and female (right)
Photo by Gaukur
Histrionicus histrionicus


[edit] Identification

Length: 38–51 cm (15-20 in). Weight: 540-680 g. A medium-sized diving duck. White ear patch.

[edit] Adult male

First WinterPhoto by bobsofpaBarnegat Lighthouse State Park, New Jersey, USA, March 2010
First Winter
Photo by bobsofpa
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, New Jersey, USA, March 2010
  • Slate blue with chestnut sides
  • White markings including a white crescent at the base of the bill

[edit] Adult female

  • Less colourful
  • Brownish-grey plumage
  • White patch on the head around the eye

[edit] Similar species

Adult male unmistakeable. Females and juveniles can be confused with female scoters at long range, particularly Surf Scoter.

[edit] Distribution

Northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts and adjacent mountain rivers. North America, Greenland, Iceland and eastern Russia.

[edit] Taxonomy

Female left, male rightPhoto by GisliIceland
Female left, male right
Photo by Gisli

The only species in the genus Histrionicus, but fairly closely related to Long-tailed Duck and the scoters.

[edit] Subspecies

Two subspecies are accepted by some authors[1], though others consider the species monotypic[2][3][4].

  • H. h. histrionicus:
  • H. h. pacificus:

Some eastern European vagrants are thought to come from the Pacific population, rather than the more sedentary Atlantic population[4].

[edit] Habitat

Breeds beside cold, fast-flowing rivers; winters at sea off exposed rocky shores.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

The nest is usually located in a well-concealed location on the ground near a stream.

[edit] Diet

Their diet consists mostly of molluscs and other crustaceans with the addition of insects and their larvae in the spring and summer months.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2014. IOC World Bird Names (version 4.4). Available at
  3. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1992. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334108
  4. Madge, S. & Burn, H. (1988). Wildfowl. Helm.
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved March 2017)
  6. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.24706197 seconds with 6 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 17:24.