Buffleheads & Cavity Nesting

Buffleheads have historically enjoyed stable population levels due to their choice of a nesting site. Most hens begin to breed in their second year and nest in trees near water. Their nesting holes are often made by flickers in aspen trees. When a single hen lays about nine buff eggs that take about thirty days to hatch, they are far more protected than non-cavity nesting birds. Weather and predators have relatively little effect on these birds, ensuring greater survival rates for both hens and their young. Though these butterballs are often taken incidentally by hunters pursuing other divers, they are beautiful little ducks that can be appreciated for their resilience, speed in flight, and probable abundance in the future.

Photo by Ellie George

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