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Buffleheads fossils have been found going back as far as half a million to two million years ago, so they have been around a long time. They are ducks that are somewhat smaller than Hooded Mergansers, but they have a large head. Male heads are mostly white, making them visible at a distance.

A month ago, when I saw them, the sky was cloudy and lighting was below average at best. There was some commotion in one of the ponds at Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. A male Bufflehead was mating with a female and was holding her under water for a few seconds at least. She finally came up for air.

Female Bufflehead duck getting out from under a male Bufflehead.

Female Bufflehead getting out from under a male Bufflehead.

Female Bufflehead after she escaped from the male embrace.

Female Bufflehead kicked the water to escape from the male.

Here are two shots of perhaps the same pair, taken two weeks later in the same pond. The weather had not changed: cloudy, no sun to speak of.

Male Bufflehead.

Male Bufflehead.

Female Bufflehead.

Female Bufflehead.

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