• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Winter Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

  • American Camp Visitor Center on Winter Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »

Bufflehead duck

Bufflehead ducks on Griffin Bay, San Juan Island.
Buffle head ducks cavort in the sparkling waters of Griffin Bay off Jakle's Lagoon at American Camp.
Jim Bourke
 

These plump little divers are the smallest ducks in North America. The males are easy to identify, with their round, puffy heads and steep foreheads. They’re mostly iridescent black-green with a large snow-white patch at the back of the neck.

The females are dull gray-brown and have small, oval white cheek patches. They winter in small flocks and dive for small fishes, crabs and barnacles. You may hear them before you see them. When they take off, they skitter along the surface on swift wing-beats.

 
Fast facts Bufflehead

Did You Know?

Capt. Lewis Cass Hunt

Capt. Lewis Cass Hunt, who squabbled with Capt. George E. Pickett over buildings on San Juan Island, was the brother of Henry Hunt, who commanded the Union artillery at the Battle of Gettysburg. Hunt's guns would largely decimate Pickett's division before they reached the Union lines.