Ruddy Duck

Scientific Name
Oxyura jamaicensis
Order
Family
Genus
Sub-Family
Oxyurinae

Recent Nearby Sightings

View all 15 sounds

Range Map

Ruddy Duck Images

Recent Logs with Ruddy Duck

Wikipedia Article

The Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) is a duck from North America and the Andes Mountains of South America, one of the stiff-tailed ducks. Their breeding habitat is marshy lakes and ponds. They nest in dense marsh vegetation near water. The female builds the nest out of grass, locating it in tall vegetation to hide it from predators. A typical brood contains 5 to 15 ducklings. Pairs form each year. Adult males have a rust-red body, a blue bill, and a white face with a black cap. Adult females have a grey-brown body with a greyish face with a darker bill, cap and a cheek stripe. The southern subspecies ferruginea is occasionally considered a distinct species. It is separable by its all-black face and larger size. The subspecies andina has a varying amount of black coloration on its white face; it may in fact be nothing more than a hybrid population between the North American and the Andean Ruddy Duck. As the Colombian population is becoming scarce, it is necessary to clarify its taxonomic status, because it would be relevant for conservation purposes. They are migratory and winter in coastal bays and unfrozen lakes and ponds. These birds dive and swim underwater. They mainly eat seeds and roots of aquatic plants, aquatic insects and crustaceans. As a result of escapes from wildfowl collections, they are now established in Great Britain, from where they have spread widely into Europe. This duck's aggressive courting behaviour and willingness to interbreed with the endangered native White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), of southern Europe, has caused some concern. Due to this, there is now a controversial scheme to extirpate the Ruddy Duck as a British breeding species.