Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Harlequin Duck

Oregon’s Boiler Bay State Wayside lies on a point that sticks out into the ocean. During our short visit on 18 September 2019, I took this photograph of four distant sea ducks. I assumed they were Surf Scoters, but, upon enlarging the image in my camera, I was surprised to discover that at least the bird on the far right is a male Harlequin Duck. This duck breeds in turbulent mountain streams, where they eat larval insects from the stream-beds. After mating, the females have sole responsibilgy for brooding the young. The males desert the mountains and loaf in the sea. The males forage near the shore, where the forage on a variety of small sea-life.

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