Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ruddy Duck - Oxyura jamaicensis

I finally was able to photograph a duck that has been eluding my capturing its picture.  Ruddy DuckMy first sighting of the Ruddy Duck was and Yellowstone National Park, but I did not obtain any photographs of it.  It is mainly a Western bird and is found on the East Coast during the winter.  In its summer plumage, the male Ruddy Duck is quite beautiful with a dock, large white cheek patches, the bill blue or bluish, and when it's in breeding plumage, the body is a cinnamon red.  It is a member of the "stiff-tailed ducks" and often holds its spiky tail straight up in display.  In the winter.  The male ducks resemble the females with a grayish-brown neck and body plumage, but still have a large white patch on the sides of their head.  This winter the ducks have been in Plymouth Harbor, and the one I found was on Spooner Pond.Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Ducks are a diving duck and they dive to feed on pond weeds, algae and the seeds of other grasses.  They also will eat aquatic insects shell fish and crustaceans.