Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Ruddy Ducks spend most of their time on the water. They are fast fliers but not very maneuverable in the air, so it’s easier for them to swim and dive to escape predators. Ruddy Ducks breed in wetlands and reservoirs from southwestern Canada through the western United States and Mexico, as well as in scattered sites in the eastern United States and on the Caribbean islands.
Both adults and ducklings eat aquatic insects, crustaceans, zooplankton, and other invertebrates, along with small amounts of aquatic plants and seeds. You can see our Ruddy Duck in the Shorebird Aviary at the Living Coast Discovery Center.
Did you know? A naturalist, speaking of Ruddy Ducks in 1926 said, “…its curious nesting customs and ludicrous courtship performance place it in a niche by itself… Everything about this bird is interesting to the naturalist, but almost nothing about it is interesting to the sportsman.”