Bufflehead — Ducks Unlimited Canada
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Know your waterfowl


Bucephala albeola

Bufflehead drake. ©DUC


  • Known as the “butterball”
  • Showy white crest
  • One of North America’s smallest diving duck species.


  • Like its close relative, the common goldeneye, the bufflehead nests in cavities in trees close to water, often in the abandoned homes of flickers and other woodpeckers.
  • The bufflehead arrives late in spring and departs just in advance of freeze-up.
  • It breeds in forested areas from west-central Alaska through western Canada and the northwestern states.

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