Geographical Range North America
Habitat Lakes, ponds, rivers, swamps
Scientific Name Bucephala albeola
Conservation Status Common

The large ("buffalo"-sized) head of this diving duck is said to have earned the species its name. The male is black on top and white on bottom, and his black head sports a large white patch extending from the eye to the back of the head. The female is dark brown above, paler below and has a small white cheek patch.

These energetic little ducks prefer to live in well-forested ponds or swamps, where they can avoid being in the open. In the summer, they dive beneath the surface in search of insects and small crustaceans. In the winter, their diet switches more towards the seeds of aquatic plants.

Buffleheads are expert divers, able to stay under water for more than a minute, then often popping up a long way from where they disappeared. One duck usually remains on the surface to watch for danger as the rest of its group dives for food.

Unlike most ducks that nest on the ground, buffleheads nest in the holes of trees, often those left by other bird species.