Micke Grove Zoo

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Ruddy Duck
Oxyura jamaicensis

Habitat: Fresh water swamps, lakes, marshes, ponds, estuaries, and lagoons

Range: North America and the Caribbean Islands

Natural Diet: Insects, arachnids, crustaceans, grasses, sedges, and pond weeds

Status In The Wild: Least Concern (Common)


Animal Facts

The ruddy is a small sized diving duck that is greyish-brown in color. These birds are omnivorous feeding on both vegetation and aquatic invertebrates. Ruddy ducks nest in permanent freshwater marshes where the vegetation is thick. Females use these thick marshes to hide their eggs and ducklings from predators such as small carnivores (raccoons, foxes, skunks, feral cats, American mink) and raptors. They are mostly diurnal and are known to migrate at night. During the breeding season, the male's feathers turn chestnut-brown in color while he sports a blue beak and a black cape. They perform a courtship display with a call to attract females. Ruddy ducks breed seasonally in the spring and summer months. Females lay six to 10 eggs with the incubation period lasting to approximately 26 days. The young are precocial fledging in approximately two months.

Ruddies are one of the species of ducks housed at the east-end of Micke Grove Zoo


Distributional range

Ruddy ducks are found in Canada, Mexico, and the United States