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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 22 May 2012
Scientific Name
Bucephala albeola
  • Anseriformes
  • Anatidae
  • Bucephala
  • B. albeola
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 6 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
12.5 to 16 inches
21 inches
13 ounces


International Names

Chinese (汉语) 白枕鹊鸭
Czech (Cesky) hohol bělavý
Danish (Dansk) Bøffeland
Dutch (Nederlands) Buffelkopeend
Finnish (Suomi) pikkutelkkä
French (Français) Petit Garrot
German (Deutsch) Büffelkopfente
Italian (Italiano) Quattrocchi minore
Japanese (日本語) ヒメハジロ [himehajiro]
Norwegian (Norsk) Bøffeland
Polish (Polski) gągołek
Russian (русский язык) Малый гоголь
Spanish (Español) Porrón Albeola
Swedish (Svenska) Buffelhuvud
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