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Bird name:

Ruddy Duck

Oxyura jamaicensis




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:


Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Granular, rough textured and white.

Number of Eggs:

5 - 15

Incubation Days:

20 - 26

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Mound of aquatic vegetation attached to rooted plants lined with down. Also use old nests of coots or ducks, or muskrat lodges.

Nest Location:

On freshwater hidden by vegetation.




Ruddy Duck: Small duck with pointed, stiff tail often held upright. Dark, chestnut-brown with black on crown, tail, and back of neck. Also black speckling on sides. White belly, vent, and face. Light blue bill. Wings dark grey above, paler grey underneath. Flight fast and direct. Adult female has pale brown body with faint grey-brown barring, grey-brown crown, grey bill, and pale buff face with brown-grey stripe. Juvenile like female but less markings on face. Eclipse male like female but with black crown and clean white face.

Range and Habitat

Ruddy Duck: Resident escaped breeder in the UK and Ireland. Found in the English Midlands, northern England and southern Scotland. Birds are rarely found on land, look for them in marshes, estuaries, lakes, and rivers. An eradication plan has drastically reduced the population.

Breeding and Nesting

Ruddy Duck: Elaborate courtship by male involves tail fanning, bill drumming on chest, and creating bubbles under chest. Nests, which are hidden in the vegetation of freshwater marshes, lakes, or ponds, are built of grass and cattails and lined with down. Female builds nest and incubates eggs.

Foraging and Feeding

Ruddy Duck : It is omnivorous, mostly by diving and swimming along bottom of marshes, lakes and ponds where it hardly leaves the water. Feeding on aquatic insect and crustaceans as well as plant seeds and roots of aquatic plants.


Ruddy Duck: Courting male produces ticking and clapping sounds by pressing its bill against its breast.

Similar Species

Ruddy Duck: Ferruginous Duck is rich brown and lacks the white cheeks. Garganey is more grey-brown in tone, with fairly evenly variegated plumage and white eyestripe.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
Also called the breast area, it is the frontal area on the body containing the breastplate and major flight muscles.
The upper front part of a bird.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX