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Critter of the Month

Critter of the Month - FEBRUARY


The Bufflehead is the smallest of the ducks found in Tennessee. They can be found in small flocks throughout the State arriving in October and staying until late April. The big white patch on the back of the male's head makes it an easy duck to identify even at a distance. The female bufflehead has an overall gray-brown body, dark brown head with a small oval white patch on its side. In flight the white patch on the wing is bigger on the male.

Buffleheads are cavity nesting ducks that almost exclusively use the abandoned nest holes of Northern Flickers. They breed near ponds and small lakes from central Alaska into eastern Canada. Unlike most other ducks buffleheads tend to keep the same mate for several years returning to the same territories and often using the same nesting site.

Buffleheads are usually silent. Their diet consists of insects, crustaceans, mollusks and some seeds.