Bufflehead – now just how would you like to be called that!

Not me! I’m a ring-billed gull because my bill has a ring around it – obviously!

Click image for larger view.

Oh, you mean me? Yeah,. I’m a Bufflehead. What’s it to you?

Click image for larger view.

Yes, it was a rather slow day at Gooseberry, but we did see our first Bufflehead of the season, a lone male  easy of the causeway – kind of handsome dude, I think, but where did he get that name! My research – I looked in the dictionary – shows that “bufflehead” in the sense of “simpleton” stems from the 17th century and refers to a square head. Hmmm. . . kind of interesting, the different inflections put on a square. I mean, in the ’60s a square was someone who socially didn’t get it, but could easily be a very bright person, especially in technical areas.  Words! Constantly evolving. And let’s see, Wikipedia epxlains it this way:

The name Bufflehead is a combination of buffalo and head, referring to the oddly bulbous head shape of the species. ]This is most noticeable when the male puffs out the feathers on the head, thus greatly increasing the apparent size of the head.

OK – in any event, I guess it’s better than what another site says he is also known as – butterball!

Saw a couple of loons today as well – one in the ocean near the parking lot and the other along the causeway nearer to Bar Rock. Wasn’t until I got home and looked at the pictures that I noticed the difference, though. Have to get more sensitive to this. Take a look. Here they are, loon one and two:

Click image for larger view.

Click image for larger view.

Notice loon one has more white around the eye? And holds it’s neck higher and looks a tad more gracefull? If you did, you should associate those traits with the Red-throated Loon – adult, non-breeding. The other, stockier fellow is a Common Loon – also in adult, non-breeding plumage.

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