Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Duck, Rosse Stekelstaart, Schwarzkopf-Ruderente, Pato-rabo-alcado-americano

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                                            Ruddy Duck sound    

The Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) is a duck from North America and the Andes Mountains of South America, one of the stiff-tailed ducks.

Adult males have a rust-red body, a blue bill, and a white face with a black cap. Adult females have a grey-brown body with a greyish face with a darker bill, cap and a cheek stripe. The southern subspecies ferruginea is occasionally considered a distinct species. It is separable by its all-black face and larger size. The subspecies andina has a varying amount of black coloration on its white face; it may in fact be nothing more than a hybrid population between the North American and the Andean Ruddy Duck. As the Colombian population is becoming scarce, it is necessary to clarify its taxonomic status, because it would be relevant for conservation purposes.

Their breeding habitat is marshy lakes and ponds. They nest in dense marsh vegetation near water. The female builds the nest out of grass, locating it in tall vegetation to hide it from predators. A typical brood contains 5 to 15 ducklings.

They are migratory and winter in coastal bays and unfrozen lakes and ponds.

These birds dive and swim underwater. They mainly eat seeds and roots of aquatic plants, aquatic insects and crustaceans.

As a result of escapes from wildfowl collections, they are now established in Great Britain, from where they have spread widely into Europe. This duck’s aggressive courting behaviour and willingness to interbreed with the endangered native White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), of southern Europe, has caused some concern. Due to this, there is now a controversial scheme to extirpate the Ruddy Duck as a British breeding species; there have also been culling attempts in other European countries.

Other synonyms:

Catalan: Ànec de jamaica, Ànnera de Jamaica
Catalan (Balears): Ànnera de Jamaica
Czech: Kachnice kaštanová
Welsh: Hwyaden goch
Danish: Amerikansk skarveand
German: Schwarzkopfruderente, Schwarzkopf-Ruderente
English: North American Ruddy Duck, Ruddy Duck, Ruddy Duck (Ruddy), Sleepy Duck
Spanish: Malvasía Canela, Malvasía Rojiza, Pato Cariblanco, Pato Chorizo, Pato Espinoso, Pato Malvasia de Cara Blanca, Pato rana de pico ancho, pato telpalcate, Pato Tepalcate, Pato zambullidor grande
Spanish (Argentine): Pato zambullidor grande
Spanish (Chile): Pato rana de pico ancho
Spanish (Cuba): Pato Chorizo
Spanish (Dominican Rep.): Pato Espinoso
Spanish (Mexico): pato telpalcate, Pato Tepalcate
Spanish (Nicaragua): Pato Cariblanco
Estonian: Valgepõsk-händpart
Basque: Ahate herdoiltsua, Ànec de Jamaica
Finnish: kuparisorsa, Kuparivartti, Kupariviuhkasorsa
Faroese: Tonut skarvsont
French: Canard roux, Erismature rousse, Érismature rousse
Irish: Lacha Rua
Galician: Ànec de Jamaica, Malvasía americana
Haitian Creole French: Kanna plonjon
Hungarian: Feketefeju halcsontfarkú réce, Feketefej? halcsontfarkú réce, Halcsontfarkú réce
Icelandic: Hrókönd
Italian: Gobbo della Giamaica, Gobbo rugginoso americano
Japanese: akaotategamo
Latin: Oxyura jamaicensis, Oxyura jamaicensis jamaicensis, Oxyura jamaicensis jamaicensis/andina
Dutch: Rosse Stekelstaart, Rosse Stekelstaarteend
Norwegian: Stivhaleand
Polish: sterniczka jamajska
Portuguese: Pato-rabo-alçado-americano
Slovak: potáplica bielolíca, Potápnica bielolíca
Slovenian: belolicna trdorepka
Swedish: Amerikansk kopparand


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders to see birds on your trip. Guided Birdwatching Tours & Trips

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