Tag Archives: buffleheads

Wild and Woolly Waves at Brace Cove After Friday’s Storm

Brace Cove Brace rock ©Kim Smith 2014 Brace Rock on the left with ginormous waves crashing onto the path behind the retreat. I estimate the trees on the right to be about 20-25  feet in height. ~ Click  photos to view larger.

Brace Cove seagulls buffleheads ©Kim Smith 2014Seagulls and Buffleheads

Brace Cove surfers ©Kim Smith 2014Brace Cove Surfers ~ more than only seagulls and buffleheads being tossed around in the surf!

Brace Cove big wave -2 ©Kim Smith 2014View standing on the flooded path, looking towards the Atlantic
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A Badelynge of Buffleheads

badelynge of buffleheads

OK technically it is a raft or paddling of buffleheads since they are in the water, but I just couldn’t pass up using badelynge (pronounced bad-ling), which refers a group of ducks on land.  Buffleheads are my favorite little sea duck, and I have the pleasure of regularly seeing this group on Smiths Cove from my window.

Buffleheads have evolved their small size in order to fit into the nesting cavity of their “metabiotic” host, the Northern Flicker.  Due to their small size, they are highly active, diving almost continuously.  They do not tend to collect in large flocks; but are usually limited to small rafts.  One duck will serve as a sentry, watching for predators as the others in the group dive in search of food.  Buffleheads are among the last waterfowl to leave their breeding grounds and one of the world’s most punctual migrants, arriving on their wintering grounds within a narrow margin of time each year.  Buffleheads are monogamous, and the females return to the same breeding site, year after year.  (adapted from Wikipedia)

E.J. Lefavour

Buffleheads from John Nasser

I saw this group of male and female Buffleheads along the backshore on Monday Feb. 18, 2013 . A lone Red-Breasted Merganser joins them while they feed 100 yards off shore.

Brace of Baffled Buffleheads

photo of buffleheads

Photo by E.J. Lefavour

Did you know that the Bufflehead, (a small diving duck, mostly white with glossy green-black to purple-black head and back), was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist. They nest almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers. Unlike many ducks, it is mostly monogamous, often remaining with the same mate for several years. A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a “brace”, “flush”, “paddling”, “raft”, and “team” of ducks. Buffleheads are one of my favorite shorebirds and I watch for their arrival in late fall. They are little, very cute and have the coolest name. I don’t know if these are actually baffled, although they did look a little confused in the snow trying to find each other.