Female Harlequin Duck in Burlington, Ontario

This first winter female Harlequin Duck is on Lake Ontario at the Burlington Ship Canal. 28 January 2018. Found by Kevin McLaughlin on 10 January 2018.


Click on photo above or this link to video showing the Harlequin diving and preening with Common Goldeneyes.

White belly of a first year female shows in this action photo of the Harlequin diving as seen in the video. On Lake Ontario at Burlington on 28 January 2018


I asked Sebastien Reeber, author of Waterfowl of North America, Europe and Asia (2015), to comment on the age of this female Harlequin Duck. He said:

"The whitish belly is a sure sign of its age. You may also notice the juvenile feathers (brown, worn) on the mantle (especially on the photo with the bird preening) and the upperwing (long, narrow, frayed at tip, especially median and lesser coverts). The tail shows undoubtedly replaced central rectrices (broad and black), but the outer two look different. I am not completely sure that I read things correctly here, but this would be the classic molt pattern for this species at this age (2 to several central rectrices replaced, sometimes all, according to Peter Pyle)." 1 February 2018.


First year female Harlequin Duck preening on Lake Ontario at Burlington, Ontario on 28 January 2018