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: Common


Fun 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.


 Conservation Threats

  • Since ruddy ducks live in the wetlands, poor water quality, water pollution, or oil spills in the wetlands tend to have a negative effect on their free-ranging population numbers




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


When ruddies tuck their beaks under their wings, they are well camouflaged from their predators

Map Distributional range - Ruddy ducks are found in Canada, Mexico, and the United States