Sunday, November 25, 2012

Female Buffle all in a Ruffle

Buffleheads are perhaps the most uncommon wintering duck in the Phoenix area that is still widely expected throughout Maricopa Country, meaning they're not rare, but they're readily visible either. They're small birds themselves of course, and they're numbers are small compared to all of the other larger ducks species. They tend to prefer larger, deeper bodies of water, which makes them more unusual to spot and photograph without a scope. Like lots of other diving duck species, they're also more skittish, and make photo-documentation tricky.

While looking for Mergansers out at Fountain Hills Lake, I could see the white and iridescent fontanel of a male Bufflehead out in the center of the water. He had a female friend with him, and while he always stayed situated pretty centrally in the big body of water and out of range, she'd periodically fly around in a state of considerable distress, as if she's just woken up and realized she was in the middle of a desert or something. Anyway, this is a photo-first for Butler's Birds.


  1. You are right. Another post on tricky birds. I thought it was just me but I'm glad to know that they are indeed difficult to get on camera:) I was starting to take it personally with these ducks:)

    1. Nah, of all the waterfowl I've seen in Arizona more than once, these are definitely the most difficult birds to photograph. I'd even go so far as to say that of all the waterfowl species I've seen in Phoenix, this is the only species of which I do not have decent or better photos.

      Some day...

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