Bufflehead are thought to mate for life. Moreover, their breeding season is spring and summer. However, as the Audubon web site points out, they get an early start on the breeding season with mating contests in early winter. Here is a short video showing the testosterone-fueled frenzy of these males, bobbing their heads, beating their wings, and taking short aggressive flights at one another or at a female. The females in the picture seemed unimpressed, but may have been taking notes for later. A pair of American Coot look on. The Bufflehead males display this madness every winter that I’ve been paying attention; there’s a scene about it in my North Basin movie.
- After Rain, New Owl
- San Francisco, Morning of Dec. 2 2018