Harlequin Duck: Small diving duck, blue-gray upperparts and underparts, rust-brown flanks. Back, breast and neck have vivid black-bordered white bars. Tail is dark and relatively long. Gray legs, feet. Feeds on insects, mollusks and crustaceans. Rapid direct flight, often low over the water.
Range and Habitat
Harlequin Duck: Breeds from Alaska and Yukon south to Wyoming and Sierra Nevada of California, and from southern Baffin Island south to Labrador and Gaspe Peninsula. Spends winters along coasts south to central California and Long Island; also in Eurasia. Preferred habitats include swift-moving streams in summer; and rocky, wave-lashed coasts and jetties in winter.
The Harlequin Duck takes its name from Harlequin, a colourfully dressed character in Commedia dell'arte. The species name comes from the Latin word "histrio", or "actor".
Also called the Sea mouse because of its very unducklike squeaks. Other names include Circus duck or painted duck for its beautiful colors.
They are classified as sea ducks, yet the birds migrate inland to breed.
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.