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The harlequin duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) takes its name from Harlequin, a colourfully dressed character in Commedia dell'arte. A small sea duck, it breeds on fast-flowing streams and winters along rocky coastlines in the crashing surf in north-western and north-eastern North America, Greenland, Iceland and eastern Russia. Studies show that many adult Harlequins have had broken bones, probably a result of their turbulent surroundings. The male has a colourful and complex plumage pattern, the female is plain.
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