ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION

  • Length: 11 inches Wingspan: 23 inches

  • Small, chunky diving duck

  • Long stiff-tail is often held vertically

  • Dark wings

  • 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

  • White face

  • Black tail

Adult male basic (eclipse):

  • Eclipse plumage worn fall-winter

  • Dark gray bill

  • Dark cap

  • Face white, as in alternate plumage

  • Gray brown neck and body plumage

Adult female:

  • Like winter male, but with dusky horizontal stripe crossing pale gray        cheek patch

Similar species:

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.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status:N/A
Breeding Habitat: Wetland-open water
Nest Location:N/A
Nest Type:N/A
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
invertebrates

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     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
            numbers.
     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.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November
R

      Winter: December, January, February

 

 

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