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 black flies 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 Mývatn lake outlet into the Laxá 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.

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

Other Waterfowl species

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Natural History of Iceland Site  in Dutch

Natural History of Iceland Site  Dutch