BIRDS OF ICELAND : Histrionicus histrionicus, Harlequin Duck

Histrionicus histrionicus Harlequin ducks in Europe are unique to Iceland. They also live in northern America and eastern Siberia. It prefers rivers with strong currents and small waterfalls where blackflies are abundant. This is where they breed on hidden nests along the water sides. Although you can encounter them in many parts of Iceland a sure place to see them is the Myvatn lake outlet into the Laxa river. To see the males it is advisable to go out in spring as they leave the breeding grounds in June and change their magnificent plumage into a more female like plumage. Outside the breeding season they head for the coasts and seas most often near surf areas of rock boulders. Given their preference for wild waters it is clear that they are excellent swimmers.

  Back to general list of all birds (entries start)

  Back to home page

A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise

Click on the image for true size view

Show other photo's of the Harlequin Duck:
 A female Harlequin Duck.
 Photo of a male and female.
 Reload first photo

 Female Harlequin Duck.
 Photo of a male and female.
 Reload first photo

 Push on photo for full size