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bufflehead

[buhf-uh l-hed] /ˈbʌf əlˌhɛd/
noun
1.
a small North American duck, Bucephala albeola, the male of which has bushy head plumage.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60, Americanism; buffle (see buff1) + head
Related forms
buffleheaded, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bufflehead
  • They range in size from the small bufflehead to the large ocean-dwelling common eider.
  • bufflehead, lesser scaup, and ring-necked ducks are common during some years.
  • Diving ducks that have shown increases in populations based on mid-winter survey data include the bufflehead and mergansers.
British Dictionary definitions for bufflehead

bufflehead

/ˈbʌfəlˌhɛd/
noun
1.
a small North American diving duck, Bucephala (or Glaucionetta) albeola: the male has black-and-white plumage and a fluffy head Also called butterball
Word Origin
C17 buffle from obsolete buffle wild ox (see buff1), referring to the duck's head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bufflehead
n.

small North American duck, 1858 (buffle-headed duck attested from 1831), from buffle (1510s), obsolete variant of buffalo (n.) + head (n.). So called for its large head; earlier the noun meant "stupid person" (1650s; cf. also buffle-headed "big-headed," also "foolish," 1650s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for bufflehead

(Bucephala albeola), small, rapid-flying duck of the family Anatidae, which breeds in woodland ponds and bogs from Alaska and northern California east to Ontario. It winters along both coasts of North America. The bufflehead, at a length of about 33-39 cm (13-15.5 inches), is among the smallest of hunted waterfowl. The black-and-white drake has a white wedge on the back of his head; his mate has a white bar below and behind her eye. Buffleheads begin breeding at the age of two. The pale eggs, about nine in an average clutch, are laid in holes abandoned by flickers, in trees fairly near the water. The diet consists of small aquatic invertebrates, plus some fish in winter. Not shy of hunters, buffleheads will often circle and return to the same spot from which they were flushed.

Learn more about bufflehead with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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