Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)


 Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)

The Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) is a member of the Anseriformes order and the Swans, Geese and Duck family (Anatidae). It grows to a bit more than 16 inches (40 centimeters). The photograph above shows a female Ruddy Duck on French Hill Pond in October 2011. Male and female Ruddy Ducks have ruddy backs, dark caps, white to gray cheeks and long tails that are often carried upright. The males have rust-colored bodies and blue to black bills. The females have gray to brown bodies, darker bills and a dark band on their cheeks.

 Ruddy Duck Parts

These ducks eat aquatic invertebrates and aquatic vegetation. They can dive beneath the water to feed or to hide when they feel threatened. The position of their legs make them clumsy walkers on land. They only fly when necessary but are fast flyers once airborne. Ruddy Ducks are generally silent. The male will make a clucking sound during courtship. The female will lay five to 15 white eggs in a nest made of water plants and down hidden among emergent plants.

Ruddy Ducks are rarely seen on Mount Desert Island. They prefer freshwater bodies of water and marshes further south.


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