ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
Length: 11 inches Wingspan: 23 inches
Small, chunky diving duck
Long stiff-tail is often held vertically
Immature similar to adult female
Adult male alternate:
Alternate plumage worn in spring and summer
Brilliant blue bill
Black crown and nape
Rust-red lower neck, breast, back and body
Adult male basic (eclipse):
Eclipse plumage worn fall-winter
Dark gray bill
Face white, as in alternate plumage
Gray brown neck and body plumage
Like winter male, but with dusky horizontal stripe crossing pale gray cheek patch
Most other diving ducks do not have the long, stiff tail of the ruddy duck.
Hooded mergansers can sometimes hold their tails erect like ruddy ducks,
but have crests and long thin bills. The rare masked duck of south Florida
and south Texas has a similar shape but adult male in alternate plumage
has dark face, and the female, and immature and eclipse-plumaged males
have a buff head with a dark cap, dark eyeline and dark line below eye.
Breeding Habitat: Wetland-open water
Clutch Size: 5-15
Length of Incubation: 23-26 days
Days to Fledge: 42-48
Number of Broods: 1, 2 in south
Diet: Mostly green plant matter and seeds; lesser quantities of aquatic
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE
Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.
C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
sometimes low numbers.
R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.
Sp - Spring: March, April, May
Su - Summer: June, July, August
Fall: September, October, November R
Winter: December, January, February
Crooked Run Valley