Five photos of Harlequin Duck, and how to identify it

Harlequin Duck, male, at Barnegat light, New Jersey.
Harlequin Duck, male, at Barnegat light, New Jersey, Hotspot Near You No. 77, April 2015, by Harry Collins.

Migration maps published in our November-December 2016 issue show where you can see Harlequin Ducks this winter.

Winter strongholds for the sea duck include the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, or Dungeness NWR, Washington; Cape Saint Mary’s, Newfoundland; Isle au Haut, Maine; and Sachuest Point NWR or Beavertail State Park, Rhode Island. Photographer Harry Collins found the adult male above at another good spot: Barnegat Light, New Jersey, our Hotspot Near You No. 77.

Harlequins typically arrive during the first week of October, and their numbers increase until mid-December. The ducks remain until the beginning of April, when they start returning to their breeding grounds. By late May, they are usually all gone.