Harlequin Drake

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Smooth Body

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Birds In Flight

Size: 16" Long, by 6" Wide, by 5" High

Price: $132.99

Species Description:

The Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) is a small sea duck. The male has a slate blue body accented with white and black markings and chestnut flanks. Females are a dull brown with three white spots on the sides of their heads. Harlequins breed on turbulent, upland rivers and streams and winter along rugged coastlines. In spring they congregate at river mouths and estuaries, waiting for the rivers to thaw. Except when breeding, Harlequins are gregarious, feeding, molting and wintering on traditional grounds in flocks.


The eastern population of the Harlequin Duck breeds in northern Québec, Labrador, Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, southeastern Newfoundland, and the eastern tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. In all likelihood Harlequin Ducks are also breeding on Baffin Island, Nunavut and the northern extremes of New Brunswick. Harlequins winter along the rugged coasts of southern Newfoundland, the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, in the Bay of Fundy off New Brunswick, the Gulf of Maine to as far south as the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.


The eastern population of the Harlequin Duck was listed as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 1990 because its numbers have declined to a point below minimum viable population size. However, in the spring of 2001, Harlequin Ducks were downlisted to Species of Special Concern as COSEWIC viewed the population increase and present positive population trend as sufficient to take them off the endangered list. Nonetheless, their habit of staging, molting, and wintering in flocks in traditional areas leaves the species vulnerable to human disturbance, and oil pollution. Its breeding habitat is threatened by a variety of disturbances including hydroelectric development, forestry, insect control programs, low-level military flying, resource development and increased access by humans. Illegal hunting, whether accidental - females and immature Harlequins are difficult to differentiate from some legally hunted species - or deliberate, takes it toll on a species that has a naturally low reproductive rate.

Summer Range

Breeds from Alaska to northwestern Wyoming, and from northern Quebec and Labrador to northern New Brunswick. Also in Greenland, Iceland, and Siberia.

Winter Range

Winters along Pacific Coast from Alaska to northern California, and along Atlantic Coast from Newfoundland to New Jersey. Also in Greenland, Iceland, and along Pacific Coast southward to Japan.


Mountain streams and rivers, usually in forested regions; in winter, primarily turbulent coastal waters, especially in rocky regions.


Insects, fish, and marine invertebrates.

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