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Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) 2/2

Posted by
Julie L. Brown, Photobirder (Indianapolis, Indiana, United States) on 11 January 2011 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Destin, Florida
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.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II 1/1000 second F/5.6 ISO 320 420 mm

To see my spotlight images, click here .
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.

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

super action shot

11 Jan 2011 6:37am

@Alun: Thanks Alun. As I recall, these ducks were skimming across the water but for some reason I did not get any of that action.

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Beautiful shot, lovely timing and framing.

11 Jan 2011 9:01am

@Sarito: Thanks!

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

Yes, you are spot on with your research, Canada geese and ruddy ducks almost have "Vermin" status, but the law doen't allow any afermative action, so I guess the will continue to cause problems.

11 Jan 2011 12:10pm

@CElliottUK: Canada geese are a problem in the US as well, but although apparently common, I had never seen a Ruddy Duck. I did see some news items on the internet regarding eradication programs in the UK, but of course that is controversial. I know there are various ways to reduce the reproductive rate of geese without killing them outright-such as removing eggs from nests, but the thought of that makes me cringe. I can hardly kill a bug! Of course this is a major dilemma.

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Wow, what a dire situation!..Rather sad, really. These little guys are really "beautifully designed!" I love the wing position showing the very fine details in the feathers...I wonder what the outcome of all of this is going to be?!

11 Jan 2011 1:43pm

@Denny Jump Photo: Non-native plants and animals are a major problem all over the world. Of course, the introduction of exotic species is the work of humans, in their infinite wisdom!

parisa from shiraz, Iran

excellent time

11 Jan 2011 1:52pm

@parisa: Thank you for your comment.

Portrait of Photography from Toronto, Canada

awww..perfect timing...really cool.

11 Jan 2011 2:55pm

@Portrait of Photography: Thanks, I appreciate the comment.

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful image . Perfect timing. Great commentary. Love it ... :)

11 Jan 2011 3:23pm

@Sam: Thanks Sam. Glad you read my narrative.

Phil David Morris from Saskatoon, Canada

Interesting info about mating, wonderful capture.

11 Jan 2011 4:06pm

@Phil David Morris: These two ducks are in the same genus, so having viable offspring is the key to the problem.

Richard Geven from Montferland, Netherlands

Spreading the wings.......beautiful

11 Jan 2011 5:22pm

@Richard Geven: Thank you Richard.

Becky from los angeles, United States

freedom awaits - beautiful shot.

11 Jan 2011 5:35pm

@Becky: Thanks Becky!

mimicy from Bordeaux, France

Un bel effet de rond dans l'eau avce l'envol de ce beau canrd ... compliments

11 Jan 2011 6:31pm

@mimicy: Thank you again for your comment.

JCJ from Troyes, France

good timing and great light!

11 Jan 2011 9:48pm

@JCJ: Thank you. I really like morning light.

Scott F. Schilling from San Martin, United States

Very nice image and I appreciate the information!

12 Jan 2011 12:26am

@Scott F. Schilling: Thanks for visiting and for reading my narrative Scott.

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Showing of his beautiful wing pattern. Nice action.

12 Jan 2011 2:17am

@B. Thomas: Thank you Barbara.

Sunder from Chennai, India

Fantastic shot! Perfect Timing...
Nice lighting and details...

12 Jan 2011 3:43am

@Sunder: Thank you. Morning light is nice.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
1/1000 second
ISO 320
420 mm