Oxyura jamaicensis
(Ruddy Duck)

Order: Anseriformes
Order Description: Swans, Geese, Ducks
Family: Anatidae
Family Description: Swans, Geese and Ducks

Physical Description:
14 1/2-16" (37-41 cm). Males have a large blue bill on a black and white head; body is chestnut with a white belly. Females are drab brown with large brown bill and a darkish cap. Both have long tails.

Similar Species- Pied-billed Grebe

A sputtering pwip-pwip-pwip-pwip-pwip-p-p-p.

Breeds from Alaska (casually) and parts of Canada, south to southern California, central Arizona, southern New Mexico, western and southern Texas, and southwestern Louisiana. Scattered, sporadic, or former breeding located in several other areas in U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Winters from southern British Columbia, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, Great Lakes, and Atlantic Coast, south throughout southern U.S., most of Mexico, and South America.

Found on marshes, lakes and coastal areas. When not breeding, found on sheltered, brackishClick word for definition and marine coastal areas, as well as on lakes and rivers.

Diet varies with age, season, and site. Eats pondweeds, algae, wild celery, seeds of sedges, smartweeds, grasses, insects and their larvae, and shellfish and crustaceans.

Dives under water surface to obtain food. Basically diurnal, but appears to migrate mostly at night. Nests over or close to water (preferably shallow water with emergent vegetation).

Female incubatesClick word for definition 6-10 eggs (sometimes 5-17), for about 23 days. Male often accompanies female and broodClick word for definition. Often parasitizes Redhead and Canvasback nests.

Element Code: ABNJB22010
Status: Game species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Original images provided by Jeff Spendelow,© 1999
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.