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

Featured Subspecies: Histrionicus histrionicus pacificus
Weight: 600g  /  Length: 38-43cm  /  Wingspan: 66cm
ABSENT FROM UK  / 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 - Japanese: シノリガモ  /  Shinori-gamo ("Morning Wildduck")
Scarce but locally common Winter visitor. 
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Around fifteen seen in harbour at Shiranuka in early December.

Further Notes: BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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