These birds live to dive and swim underwater, and will do so at the slightest disturbance. The Ruddy Duck is built for almost total aquatic life. Size: These are small and compact ducks; adults weight about 1.3 pounds, with an overall length of 14-16 inches. I suppose the males are brightly coloured in order to gain the attention of their female friends. Winter-plumage males are grey-brown above and the once vibrant bill turns grey. A ruddy duck can live … The eggs of ruddy ducks are the largest of all ducks, as a percentage of the adult size, and the ducklings are especially well developed upon hatching. I spotted this one on Tuesday as he was shaking himself dry after a plunge in the waters off of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. They also eat aquatic insects and their larvae, shellfish and crustaceans. Ruddy Ducks usually do not start their migrations to warmer habitats as long as food is available in their breeding areas and there is open water that is ice-free. https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/ruddy_duck The Rudy is quite awkward on land, in captivity care should be taken that they are able to easily get in and out of their water and feed should be placed close to the water. The lady ducks have a gray-brown body and grayish coloured head. These stiff-tailed ducks nest in western and central Canada as far east as the Great Lakes region and south to central Texas and southern Mexico. Water should be deep enough for diving. Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis) are one the many duck species that overwinter in the Northern Virginia area where I live.The males are pretty easy to identify, even from a distance, because of the bright white patch on the sides of their heads. Where do they live? “Nest survival on Yukon Flats is really low,” Lake said. Above: Ruddy Duck (photo courtesy of Ducks Unlimited Canada)What Does It Look Like?Ruddy Ducks are small diving ducks, with stout, scoop-shaped bills and short tails that are often tilted upward. During the breeding season they feed mainly on invertebrates, primarily chironomid larvae and pupae. The northward migration of these ducks to breeding areas usually occurs from February into April and the southern from cold to warmer areas from September through October annually. The ruddy duck, Oxyura jamaicensus, is one cute little duck you might see on the Atlantic coast in winter.They mainly breed in prairie potholes out west; and when the males acquire their cinnamon colored breeding plumage, their common name makes more sense. Housing Requirements: North American Ruddy Ducks are diving ducks and require a body of water for their active swimming. Lifespan: Ruddy Ducks can reach ages over 10 years old with good husbandry. “It seems like this species has moved some of their breeding distribution northward,” said Yukon Flats biologist Bryce Lake, husband of Michelle Lake, a teacher at Effie Kokrine Charter School who volunteers with Yukon Flats in summer. Ruddy ducks are native to North and South America. They mainly eat seeds and roots of aquatic plants, aquatic insects and crustaceans. Speaking of colourful, you will notice that the male ruddy duck has a nice rust coloured body, blue beak and a black cap. They can leave the nest, swim, and dive within a day of hatching and require little parental care. Ruddy ducks dive to feed on pondweeds, algae and wild celery, as well as those of sedges, smartweeds and grasses. Mature breeding males are distinctive with their blue bills, black caps, white cheek patches and chestnut colouring. As with most ducks, the female tends to be dull and boring. 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