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Conservation status: Introduced

Ruddy ducks are small, stout freshwater diving ducks with broad, short wings and narrow, stiff tails. The male ruddy duck has a bright chestnut body, black crown, white cheeks and blue bill. They swim buoyantly, often with the tail cocked up, and can also gradually submerge without diving. They hardly ever leave the water, being very ungainly on land.
This species is subject to a Government-led eradication programme. As a result, the UK population of ruddy ducks now stands at fewer than 150 individuals.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Oxyura jamaicensis

Family

Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them

The UK's ruddy ducks are concentrated in the West Midlands, northern England, Anglesey and southern Scotland, where they can be seen on large lakes and reservoirs.

When to see them

At any time of year, though they are very secretive during the breeding season. They can gather in flocks on reservoirs in winter.

What they eat

Aquatic insect larvae and plant seeds.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--60 birds-

Distribution

Key

Similar birds