Just so I don’t forget to mention this like I did in the last post, the following topic is another product from our Henderson Nevada Bird Viewing Preserve shoot we went on towards the end of last year. Another difference from last post is this one is not as picture scarce. Oh, and indeed there is another major difference but we’ll get to that in a second. With that lead in out of the way, please give a grand welcome to yet another new bird to the blog.
Want to take a shot as to what it is? Hint, it is NOT what I had mistaken it for while out in the field. For some reason I crossed this particular duck up with the Dufflebag, Well, it really isn’t a Dufflebag, but that is what I’ve always called the Bufflehead. Ever have one of those bizarre associations that popped in your head at the second it entered long term memory? No matter how hard you try it just never gets corrected in the gray matter so EVERY time you see it, that is the first thing your brain’s Google engine conjures up. Not knowing at the time that this was a wrong identification, I snapped a few and went on my merry way. This classification error was discovered while hunting down the reference material to post on the blog. Our friend the Dufflebag has the white markings shifted up to the 4th quadrant.. and has a completely different body feather palette, but let’s not get nitpicky.
No worries, this pattern is pretty unique so a few more minutes in the duck reference should clear this mystery right up. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes … later and I’m asking myself what the hell is this bird. Eventually, the Stokes’ guide came through. The problem is, the bird that caught my attention is not a male. Nope, everyone one of the shots in this post are of the female which, for the record, are traditionally harder to identify than the normally more colorful males. The fact these females have a unique coloring threw me off.
Hit the jump to see more pictures of this duck and maybe even confirm your guess as to what it is