Ruddy Duck

a.k.a. North American Ruddy Duck

Oxyura jamaicensis

A Ruddy Duck drake
Photo courtesy of Colt Handorf

The three races of this duck have at various times been considered separate species. The most widespread is the North American Ruddy, O. j. jamaicensis, which is found throughout North and Central America. O. j. andina, the Colombian Ruddy Duck, is oddly enough found in Colombia. The third and largest race is O. j. ferruginea, the Peruvian Ruddy Duck, which ranges the full length of the Andes in South America.

These birds are sexually dimorphic, the females being generally varied shades of brown while the males are bright chesnut with black crown and hind neck and white sides on the face. Bills are dull grey except on breeding males, where they are a bright blue.

Ruddys are diving ducks mainly, but are known to dabble in the shallows.

These social little ducks are usually found in rafts on open freshwater lakes and brackish lagoons. Nests are in waterside vegetation or on floating vegetation platforms and the male often attends the brood with the female. The clutch consists of 6-14 creamy-white eggs.


A Ruddy Duck drake swimming over a large Koi at the Lowry Park Zoo

This was the best picture I could get of a female

Two more NARD drakes


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