Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)

 Adult Ruddy Ducks (subspecies O. j. jamaicensis) - male top, female below, in London - August 2010 & November 2009

Featured Subspecies: Oxyura jamaeicensis jamaicensis
Weight: 560g
Length: 34-43cm
Wingspan: 47cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Increasingly difficult to photograph due to a campaign to eradicate them on behalf of a rare species of Spanish duck with which they can interbreed. They'll probably turn up at some point on any major body of water, so if you keep an eye out for them you'll likely eventually see them. The male is much more distinctive than the female.  In my experience, a middle of the road kind of duck to photograph - while they don't come in close in the chance of food, neither do they seem to stay intentionally distant. You just need to get lucky to encounter one at a passable distance once you know where they are.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Oxyura
Subspecies: O. j. jamaicensis, O. j. andina

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare feral resident subject to eradication program (under 60 birds remaining)
 - Birds seen at sites in London and Northants*

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

* Due to current policy on the Ruddy Duck in the UK, I'm not going to list exact any exact locations.

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