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Harlequin Duck


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of fast-moving water, the Harlequin Duck breeds on fast-flowing streams and winters along rocky coastlines in the crashing surf.


Typical Voice

Adult Description

Medium-sized diving duck. White patch in front of eyes. Round white ear spot. Male dark slate-blue with reddish brown sides and odd white patches and spots. Female dusky brown with two or three round white spots on head.

Male Description

Body plumage slate-blue; white bands and collars, bordered with black lines, on chest and neck; large white crescent in front of eye; small white circular patch near ear; white vertical stripe along side of neck; black streak, bordered by white and amber lines, on top of head; iridescent blue secondaries; rich dark slate-blue belly; chestnut-brown flanks.

Female Description

Brown body. White belly, with brown checks or spots. Round white spot behind ear. Faded variable white patches in front of eye. Occasionally white streaks on back of head.

Immature Description

Similar to adult female, but with darker belly.

Range Map Help

Harlequin Duck Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Female Bufflehead has one spot on face and extensive white in wings.
  • Scoters are larger, have more sloped foreheads, and larger bills.

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