Harlequin Duck

Histrionicus histrionicus (Linnaeus, 1758) HQ HARDU 2110
Family: Anseriformes > Anatidae

Harlequin Duck, Sarah Kelman

Males of this small duck are unmistakable with their blue plumage. Sadly, this is only an extremely rare winter visitor to northern Britain from the northernmost reaches of Europe.

When engaged in behavioural interactions, the Harlequin Duck gives a series of distinctly unduck-like squeaks, the source of one of its local names in Canada: 'sea mouse'.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Harlequin Duck

  • Breeding
  • Winter
617 records observations recorded by BTO surveyors
617 records


617 records observations recorded by BTO surveyors
617 records



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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.


We have no population estimates for this scarce species.


This vagrant is too rarely reported to map distribution. Recent records have been in Scotland.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.


Lifecycle and body size information about Harlequin Duck, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.


Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.


Sample sizes are too small to report Biometrics for this species.

Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Catalan: ànec arlequí
Czech: kacka strakatá
Danish: Strømand
Dutch: Harlekijneend
Estonian: kärestikuaul
Finnish: virta-alli
French: Arlequin plongeur
German: Kragenente
Hungarian: tarka réce
Icelandic: Straumönd
Italian: Moretta arlecchino
Latvian: arlekinpile
Lithuanian: islandine antis
Norwegian: Harlekinand
Polish: kamieniuszka
Portuguese: pato-arlequim
Slovak: kamenárka strakatá
Slovenian: harlekinka
Spanish: Pato arlequín
Swedish: strömand

Links to more information from ConservationEvidence.com

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