Monday, 15 December 2014

Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)

OTHER NAMES: Lords and Ladies, Painted Duck, Totem Pole Duck, Rock Duck, Glacier Duck, Mountain Duck, White-eyed Diver, Squeaker, Blue Streak
Latin Etymology: Histrionicus ("like a harlequin") histrionicus ("like a harlequin")
Adult Male Harlequin Duck (subspecies H. h. pacificus) at Shiranuka, Hokkaido, Japan - December 2014

Local Name (Japan): Shinori-gamo (シノリガモ) - "Morning Wildduck"
Featured Subspecies: Histrionicus histrionicus pacificus
Weight: 600g
Length: 38-43cm
Wingspan: 66cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Harlequin is a very endearing little Seaduck found in Arctic, Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans.  The male is a very colourful and attractive bird while, as with most ducks, the female is a bit drabber.  In Europe they only live in Iceland, but are a common visitor to harbours in Winter in Hokkaido - Shiranuka harbour had a good number of them present, and were reasonably confiding as ducks go.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Histrionicus
Subspecies: H. h. histrionicus, H. h. pacificus

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Scarce but locally common Winter visitor. 
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Around fifteen seen in harbour at Shiranuka in early December.

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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