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Waterfowl Identification in the Central Flyway

Ruddy Duck (Ruddy, Spiketail)


Male - Fall and Winter

GIF -- Picture of Male Ruddy Duck-Fall and Winter

Body: Small duck, 1 - 1 1/2 pounds, 13-15 inches long. Barred brown with lighter belly. Brown spike-like tail. Dark crowned head. Grayish white to white face-patch. Bill and feet gray. Wings: Brownish with slight white flecking. Voice: Cluck. In Flight: Small, drab, stubby-necked bird. Rapid wingbeat. Reluctant flyer; flies low.

Male - Spring and Summer

GIF -- Picture of Male Ruddy Duck-Spring and Summer

Rusty brown with barred brown, black and white belly. Tail brown. Crown of head black. White face-patch. Bill bright blue. Wings and feet same as in winter.

Female - All Seasons

GIF -- Picture of Female Ruddy Duck

Body: Similar to male in winter but lighter sides. Face-patch, often indistinct, with dark stripe. Bill, feet and wings similar to male in winter. Voice: Occasional weak cluck.

GIF -- Picture of Ruddy Ducks in Flight


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