About the Bufflehead
Also known as: Buffle-head, Butterball, Spirit Duck, Buffy

The Bufflehead is a small species of duck that lives across much of North America. They breed across much of Canada and spend the winter further south, from the West Coast of the US through the Rockies and the Great Plains and parts of the southeast. They also winter in parts of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Buffleheads are cavity nesters, using tree cavities, often created by Northern Flicker woodpeckers, or nest boxes, for breeding.

Buffleheads are diving ducks, meaning that they dive under the water when feeding. They feed in freshwater or saltwater, dining on different prey depending on the type of water.

Find cute products & gifts with our Birdorable Bufflehead

Details & Statistics


The Bufflehead is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

International Names

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