Harlequin Ducks

Waterfowl Identification

The Harlequin Duck, Histrionicus histrionicus, drake has glossy slate-blue plumage enlivened by white streaks and patches rimmed with black, giving it a striking appearance. It has a white crescent on its face, a white spot behind the eyes and a white oval behind that. It has a reddish stripe on the crown and the same color on its flanks. Resembling a small female scoter, the hen has a brown head and body, a white spot behind the eye and a whitish patch at the base of the bill.
Image comparing drake and hen/UISFWS

At a distance, both sexes look black. Flight is swift, with abrupt turns. Flocks are small and compact. Ranges both coasts, north from New Jersey and San Francisco. Uncommon.

Length: 17"
Weight: 1 1/2 lbs.


 Distribution Map

Last Updated: November 14, 2018