Harlequin Duck .

The elusive Harlequin Duck (HD) inspired pour. We had the pleasure in Port Huron, MI to see a HD swim next to a Great Lakes freighter in the dead of winter. Net outcome: worth the 3-hour chase. 

“The harlequin duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) is a small sea duck. It takes its name from Harlequin (French Arlequin, Italian Arlecchino), a colourfully dressed character in Commedia dell’arte. The species name comes from the Latin word “histrio”, “actor”.[2] In North America it is also known as lords and ladies. Other names include painted ducktotem pole duckrock duckglacier duckmountain duckwhite-eyed diversqueaker and blue streak.“ 

Wikipedia goes on to say: “Their breeding habitat is cold fast moving streams in north-western and north-eastern North AmericaGreenlandIceland and eastern Russia. The nest is usually located in a well-concealed location on the ground near a stream. They are usually found near pounding surf and white water. They are short distance migrants and most winter near rocky shorelines on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. They are very rare migrants to western Europe.” 

You might ask (as we do), how would one lone HD find its way to the Great Lakes? Of all the options, the common-most notion is that they hitch a ride on a freighter and Drop in on us in the Midwest US. 

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