A group of Harlequin Ducks are on River Ölfusá. They are common here in April but will leave when it gets warmer and the river becomes muddier because of snow melting in the highlands. Clear spring water rivers are their favourite.
The Harlequin Duck stays in the ocean around Iceland during the winter time but comes inland, on rivers, with the coming of spring.
The Harlequin Duck does not go unnoticed in the males bright maroon, white and blue colors. The males do not give up and try to catch the attention of the females although breeding time is well on its way. The Harlequins like spring water rivers and the individuals that do not mate gather in flocks.
The photos are taken in Veiðivötn in the South Iceland Interior.
The first five Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) arrived on Ölfusá River by Selfoss today. Same time every year, more or less. The Harlequin Duck stays in the ocean around Iceland during the winter time but comes inland, on rivers, with the coming of spring.
The male Harlequin Duck here is trying to get the female’s attention.
The Harlequin Duck’s habitat is rapid spring water rivers with benthic in abundance. The larva of the the Blackfly is its main food source. The breeding population in Iceland is around 2000 to 3000 pairs.
The Harlequin Duck(Histrionicus histrionicus) is a common bird on the River Ölfusá near Selfoss in March and April. In the wintertime the Harlequin duck stays in the ocean around Iceland but in early spring it goes up the rivers (March-April) and lays eggs near spring rivers and streams. Sometimes they can be seen on the River Ölfusá in winter.
The Harlequin duck is one of the most beautiful ducks. It is often tame and easy to approach and observe at short distance.
Iceland is the only nesting place for Harlequin ducks in Europe. It is, however, a nesting bird in Greenland, North America and the eastern regions of Siberia. The breeding population in Iceland is around 2000 to 3000 pairs.
In the darkest time of the year, which we have now, it is nice to know that these beautiful birds are waiting for spring off the coast all around the country.