Species: Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
The Bufflehead, also known as the Spirit Duck, are migratory ducks coming to the Ocean City area in fall, and stay for a month or two before heading further south.
The Bufflehead drakes (males) range in size from 13–16 inches long and weighing in at between 9.5–19.4 oz, females average about 14 inches and weigh about 13 oz, each having a wingspan of about 21 inches. The Bufflehead is one of the smallest American duck, the Green-winged Teal being the other.
The Bufflehead adult drakes (males) are a striking black and white, their heads are an iridescent green and purple with a large white patch behind their eyes. The females bodies are grey-toned with a smaller white patch behind the eye and a lighter underside.
Buffleheads live during the summer throughout Canada and Alaska, migrating to the southern half of the United States, Cuba and Mexico during the winter. Returning back north in the Spring to breed in their summer homes. Buffleheads are monogamous, staying with the same mate for years.
Fossils of the Bufflehead have been found and date back from 500,000 to 2 million years ago.
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) Photographs
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Ocean City Wildlife Project: Today and Tomorrow
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