Ruddy Duck

Oxyura jamaicensis

The picture shows a swimming Ruddy Duck from the side. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Anatidae (Ducks, geese and swans)
  • Weight
    510 – 610 g
  • Habitat
    Ponds and lakes

A spectacle for the ladies

The ruddy duck practices a courtship ritual that is unique among ducks. The male raises his stiff tail vertically into the air while slapping his sky blue bill against his chest, which creates bubbling in the water. The display ends with the male uttering a low belching sound. After the display, the male will run across the water with his tail lowered, creating a putting sound with his feet.


To obtain their food, the ducks dive to the bottom of the lake or river and use their bill to filter living insects, small crabs and water fleas from the mud.

The ruddy duck’s egg is the largest among ducks in proportion to body size. The chicks are capable of moving around on their own soon after hatching and only need care for a short time.