• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Park on Spring Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Wednesday-Sunday. The English Camp contact station is closed through May 31. Grounds at both units are open from dawn to 11 p.m. 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?

island marble butterfly

The island marble butterfly was once thought extinct until it was spotted on the American Camp prairie in 1998. The park, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service actively monitors the butterfly. More...