A Harlequin Romance

On Monday, at Dyer Point I had a chance to sneak up on some Harlequin Ducks and I got some great shots off before the fog rolled in.  Harlequins are one of my favorite birds.  Their name is related to the appearance similarities of the ducks and characters from Commedia dell’Arte.  The latin name for this bird is Histrionicus histrionicus from the latin root for “actor.”

Personally I find them to be strikingly beautiful birds, but there is certainly something comedic about them; their call.  Click on the link, scroll down and listen to the sound they make.

When I arrived at Dyer Point I observed a female perched on some rocks and one male swimming near by.  I was able to sneak out about 100 yards on the peninsula and hide behind the rocks to get a close look.

I got a few shots off before a large wave broke on the rocks where the 5 Harlequins were perched (one additional male was swimming nearby) and the birds took flight.

Enjoy the series!

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14 thoughts on “A Harlequin Romance

  1. What a great series! I love the one where they’re flying through the breaking wave. Isn’t it interesting how stunning the males are, compared to the plain brown females? I’ll bet it’s the female who incubates the eggs. She would blend into the background much better than he would.

  2. I can see why they are one of your favourite birds! Like Wood ducks, the males are almost too colourful to be real. I wish we got them here in Ottawa more often…I’ve only seen one, a female.

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