• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • American and English Camps Visitor Centers Open Labor Day

    The American and English camps visitor centers will be open on the Labor Day holiday, September 1. Call 360-378-2240, ext. 2226 or 360-378-4409 for information.

  • 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?

Winfield Scott

Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott's Mexican War campaign was a set-piece example for cadets in both Europe and North America, but he was most celebrated as a peacemaker. He had resolved two other Anglo_american border disputes before coming to San Juan Island. More...