Ruddy duck Oxyura jamaicensis

Identification Tips:

Adult male alternate:

Adult male basic(eclipse):

Adult female:

Similar species:

Most other diving ducks do not have the long, stiff tail of the Ruddy Duck. Hooded Mergansers can sometimes hold their tails erect like Ruddy Ducks, but have crests and long thin bills. The rare Masked Duck of South Florida and South Texas has a similar shape but adult male in alternate plumage has dark face, and the female, and immature and eclipse-plumaged males have a buff head with a dark cap, dark eyeline and dark line below eye.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.