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Ruddy Duck

Oxyura jamaicensis (Gmelin, 1789)


These are small, compact ducks with stout, scoop-shaped bills, and long, stiff tails they often hold cocked upward. They have slightly peaked heads and fairly short, thick necks. Male Ruddy Ducks have blackish caps that contrast with bright white cheeks. In summer, they have rich chestnut bodies with bright blue bills. In winter, they are dull gray-brown above and paler below with dull gray bills. Females and first-year males are brownish, somewhat like winter males but with a blurry stripe across the pale cheek patch. In flight, Ruddy Ducks show solidly dark tops of the wings.


These birds dive and swim underwater. They mainly eat seeds and roots of aquatic plants, aquatic insects and crustaceans. They also nest in dense vegetation near water.


There were many male and female ducks in this pond. It appeared that the males were trying to impress the females for mating. Love the bright blue bills.

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Spotted by

Logan, Utah, USA

Spotted on May 7, 2016
Submitted on May 12, 2016


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