May 28th, 2017

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The Harlequin Duck- A Super Fluid Power Duck   

Nature's answer to fluid dynamics….we have great respect for a 600 gram bird that can walk against the current at the bottom of a frigid, swift moving mountain stream…. Why is Lynch Fluid Controls so attracted to the Harlequin duck?

Doesn't it seem like an odd thing for a fluid power company to have as its mascot and logo?

A few years ago Ernie Lynch saw a film on TV about the Harlequin. He was very impressed with the bird and made a mental note of it. Over time we realized that many of the attributes of this small but very well adapted bird are actually traits that we admire as a fluid power innovator.

When we say small, we mean small. The male checks in at 700 grams (22 ounces) and the female at 600 grams (19 ounces). They are known by many names, "sea mice and squeakers" because of their mouse-like call, and also as "rock ducks, lords and ladies, ladybirds, white-eyed divers, painted ducks and totem-pole ducks."

The colorful Harlequin is one of the most attractive sea ducks and gets its English name from the characters in an Italian comedy that wear a mask and have oddly painted costumes.

This little bird is impervious to salt water, and can be found wintering on the rocky coasts of North America, although it is regarded as an endangered species on the east coast. It takes food by diving into the foaming surf, and must work hard to survive due to its small body mass.

In Summer and shoulder seasons this amazing bird migrates to breed in the mountain streams of Alaska, Yukon , BC, Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington.

This is where the Harlequin really demonstrates how well it has adapted to the environment. The bird dives to the bottom and walks against the current, prying at rocks and substrate in search of larvae of flying insects such as blackflies, caddis flies, stone flies and midges. As far as we can see, this bird adds new meaning to the term "good flow characteristics".


Special thanks to Ana Nahapetyan for her artistic interpretation of the Harlequin Duck which graces our logos and website.

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