Female Bufflehead

I’ve recently had the pleasure of watching a visiting female Bufflehead from my balcony in the marina below.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy; but I lucked out that she came closer towards me.

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Female Bufflehead


She was quite busy, diving and feeding on aquatic invertebrates.  (click on first image to start slideshow)


You can see how she spreads her tail and uses it to propel herself into the dive.  Buffleheads are the smallest diving duck in North America.

(click on first image to start slideshow)


With her little blue beak, the female Bufflehead is an adorable beauty.


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Female Bufflehead wing stretch


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“Ahhhhh, that felt good!”

I was fortunate on obtaining many interesting captures with her reflections and water wakes.

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Female Bufflehead


It is always a delight to have surprise visitors.  I’ve seen her twice since, so I’m hoping I see her again on a day when the sun is shining.



41 thoughts on “Female Bufflehead

  1. Wow Donna, I have never seen this duck (I think). So beautiful! So tiny and acrobatic too, love how you captured her little feet underwater as well as her underwater. 🙏🏻❤️😎

    • Thank you John! The male is gorgeous, you’re more apt to recall seeing it. 🙂 I tried several times to capture her swimming back up from the dive but the photos weren’t the greatest. I know one thing, she was fast!

  2. Marvelous captures. We have quite a few Buffleheads out here. Love to watch their crazy antics. Only wish I could get captures as beautiful and crisp as yours. They’re definitely my favorite duck.

    • Thank you Gunta! They are quite comical, coming in for a landing, scooting on top of the water, trying to stop, lol. I believe Eric painted Buffleheads on your RV? Did I remember that correctly?? 😊

      • Yup! Eric made cutouts from vinyl sheets for the Bufflehead art on the back of the camper. I didn’t know much about individual ducks before he came along. It’s been a blast getting to know the individuals and I think the buffleheads are my favorites. I just corrected a typo saying “bubbleheads” and decided that might not be a bad description. 😀

  3. I love buffleheads, and love your pictures, especially with the spread wings showing the pretty pattern. If the sun comes out hopefully you will get a chance to capture the male also!

    • Thank you Susan. I’ve been watching but have not seen a male. Buffleheads are monogamous (not many ducks are) so maybe she’s a young one and lookin’! Yes, a male and her in the sun, that’d be perfect.

  4. Another beautiful bird, we have those in Alaska also. Many of your birds lately are up here as well. Not sure where you at, but in SE we have usually about 230 migratory bird types as well as many residents.

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    • I am in the Maryland Chesapeake Bay area, which is a critical north/south migratory fly-way path, so we are lucky to get many species, whether passing through or visiting for the winter. Alaska is on my bucket list!

    • Thank you Ashley! The Bufflehead’s name is derived from “buffalo head” or “bull head”, due to the way they puff out their head feathers, greatly increasing the look of the size of their head on such a little body. 🙂

  5. Your photos are wonderful, Donna. I had never noticed that they fan their tails prior to diving. Thank you for pointing it out. I love this tiny divers. It become clear just how small they are, when one sees them next to, say a mallard.

  6. Pingback: Pied-billed Grebe and Buffleheads | Photos by Donna

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