Bufflehead ducks at Rouge National Park


Bufflehead ducks at Rouge National Park

Bufflehead duck, Rouge National Urban Park, Toronto

Pond 1, Rouge National Park, Toronto

Rouge National Urban Park is located on the east side of Toronto, in Ontario.   This park holds the title of being Canada’s first ever Urban National Park.   In one section of the park there are numerous ponds that have formed in the wetlands, where we have seen beavers, and a wide variety of waterfowl.

Bob on Cedar Trail, Rouge National Park, Toronto

Bob atop a century’s old tree stump, a remnant from logging days in the past.

Pond 2, Rouge National Park, Toronto

Before we reached the largest pond, the cacophony of bird calls announced the presence of hundreds of Canada Geese and a variety of ducks.

Bufflehead Ducks mingle with Canada Geese, Rouge National Park, Toronto

In amongst the Canada Geese were several pairs of Bufflehead Ducks (Bucephala albeola) although at first glance, they were difficult to pick out given that their plumage and markings greatly resembled those of the geese, not to mention some Common Goldeneye Ducks that we also spotted.

Bufflehead Ducks, male & female, Rouge National Park, Toronto

We had never seen this type of duck before, but upon returning home, we learned that they are big-headed diving ducks that usually spend summers in Alaska and northern parts of the western provinces of Canada.  Seeing as they winter primarily along either the eastern or western seaboards of Canada and the United States, we surmised that this flock of Buffleheads was in active migration.  Here we see a male, with the predominant “scarf” around its head, while the female has a white splash across her cheek.

Bufflehead, Rouge National Park, Toronto

In this video you see the Bufflehead Ducks swimming and playing amongst the Canada Geese.

Lynde Shores Sign

Just days before, Bob and I visited the Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby, Ontario.

Flock of Buffleheads on Lake Ontario

Just offshore, a flock of waterbirds was clustered together, while closer to shore some black and white ducks bobbed on the waves.

Buflehead ducks bob on the waves, Lake Ontario

When we got a closer look, and identified them to be Bufflehead Ducks.

Bufflehead duck floats by, Lake Ontario

This male Bufflehead appears to be looking into the depths in search of a possible catch.

Bufflehead duck floating on waves, Lake Ontario

With the ducks disappearing time and again beneath the waves or into the troughs of water, we had to be persistent in order to snap a few photos.

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