December 29, 2010
Here is a rear view of the Ruddy Duck wing display. The only other North American duck that looks similar is a female black scoter, but its habitat is ocean, not inland ponds like this one.
While searching the internet for information on Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis), I found out that it is an escaped exotic species in the UK and is causing problems for a globally threatened native stiff-tailed duck in western Europe. Ruddy Ducks can produce fertile offspring with the White-Headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala). The proliferation of these hybrids is reducing the gene pool of the White-Headed Duck. Apparently, the colorful and flamboyant male Ruddy Duck in breeding plumage is more successful at attracting females than is the drab male White-Headed Duck. The link below is to an article on the website of one of Europe's largest conservation organizations, RSPB.
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This photoblog is my nature journal and travelogue. Many of my wildlife images were made in environments impacted by humans. My goal is to feature each animal in a way that allows the viewer to sense the essence of its life in the wild. The purpose of the accompanying narratives is to enhance awareness and appreciation of our natural world, as well as to inspire everyone to protect and care for it.