Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon, on June 11th 2009
Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon, on June 11th 2009
(no data. © David Hastings)


L: 35 - 43 cm

The Ruddy Duck is a small, stout freshwater diving duck with broad, short wings and narrow, stiff tails. The male has a bright chestnut body, black crown, white cheeks and blue bill. They swim buoyantly, often with the tail cocked up, and can also gradually submerge without diving. They hardly ever leave the water, being very ungainly on land.

This is a North American species, but it colonised the British Isles thanks to escapes from collections, and spread into Europe.

The Ruddy Duck's breeding habitat is marshy lakes and ponds.

It is migratory, and winters in coastal bays and unfrozen lakes and ponds.

This duck's aggressive courting behaviour and willingness to interbreed with the endangered native White-headed Duck of southern Europe has led the EU (and DEFRA in the UK) to attempt to kill all Ruddy Ducks in Europe.


12-Apr-2009 : Otmoor, Oxon (1m)

07-Jun-2008 : Tophill Low, E. Yorks
11-Jun-2006 : Otmoor, Oxon
17-Apr-2006 : Otmoor, Oxon