The Harlequin Duck is simultaneously the most beautiful and one of the most odd-looking species of waterfowl in North America, so there is no wonder it is a species high on most birder’s ‘Most Wanted’ lists. Well if you live on the east coast, one of the best places to see this wonderful little duck is at Barnegat Light in NJ. During the winter months, there can be anywhere from a handful to 20 or 30 of these clown-like ducks foraging right along the jetty at Barnegat, allowing you to watch them at incredibly close range. Being so close to these birds at Barnegat allows you to get an up-close look at their social interactions and also hear their squeaky calls, which has gotten them the nickname ‘Sea Mouse’. The following is a collection of photos that I have taken of Harlequin Ducks at Barnegat, celebrating their unique and strangely charming appearance.
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