Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Bucephala
Species: albeola

La. anser  goose
La. forma  form, shape, kind
Gr. anous  foolish
La. anas  duck
Gr. bous  ox
Gr. kephale  head
Gr. boukephalos  bull-headed,
La. albus  white

Buffle Head, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Birds of America, 1917

Louis Agassiz Fuertes

About fifteen inches long. Sharp contrasting black and white. Black crown, face, neck and back. White patch behind each eye and white underside.

Breeds in the northern regions - Alaska, across Canada to the lower Hudson Bay Region and Quebec; the furthest south being in the mountainous regions of Wyoming and Northern California. Winters in Alaska, British Columbia, across southern Canada, throughout the U.S. and south to Mexico, and the Caribbean.

USGS Bufflehead Map

Builds a thick cushion of feathers and down in decaying tree or stump hollows near ponds or streams.

Lays six to fourteen ivory or olive white eggs, which hatch after about one month of incubation. Ducklings are led to water at a very young age and fly at about two months.

Dives with ease, easily overtaking fish. Also eats crustaceans and insects. It has a thick fatty layer, giving it one of its nicknames, "butter ball", and tolerates cold weather well until ice blocks it from its food forcing it to fly south in small flocks.

The Bufflehead Nestbox has a 7" by 7" floor, 16" inside ceiling, 2 7/8" diameter entrance hole located 14" (to the top of the hole) above the floor and ventilation openings.

Assembled with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes.  Hinged roof is secured with shutter hooks for easy access.

Free Printable Nestbox Plans and Dimensions for Bufflehead
Bufflehead Nestbox Plans

Mount at least 10 feet, higher if possible, on a tree trunk, (6' to 8' if on a post above water), in forest bottomlands within 100 feet of a river or a pond. Place some wood chips on the floor. Kestrels, Screech owls and Squirrels may use this box.


Bufflehead, Chester A. Reed, Color Key to North American Birds, Frank M. Chapman, 1912

Chester A. Reed


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