Ruddy Duck femaleRuddy Duck female – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I saw two Ruddy Duck females resting at Farmington Bay WMA yesterday with their bills tucked under their scapulars then one of them opened her eyes and decided to shake.

Rousing female Ruddy DuckRousing female Ruddy Duck – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The females are sort of plain, most female ducks are, but I love watching and photographing these stocky, stiff-tailed ducks.

Female Ruddy Duck starting to wing flapFemale Ruddy Duck starting to wing flap – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

In 1926 J.C Phillips wrote this about Ruddy Ducks:

“Everything about this bird is interesting to the naturalist, but almost nothing about it is interesting to the sportsman.”

I guess everyone knows I am not a sportsman but a bird photographer who finds all birds infinitely interesting.

Ruddy female shaking her wingsRuddy female shaking her wings – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Ruddy Ducks are diving ducks and use their webbed feet to propel themselves under the water. I’d like to get an image with their feet showing because apparently they have the largest feet in proportion with their bodies of all ducks. (I found an image with the feet showing, you can see it here)

Ruddy Duck hen with her body out of the waterRuddy Duck hen with her body out of the water – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

They also lay very large white eggs that have a pebbly surface. Males do not help with brooding or raising the young.

Ruddy Duck female starting to settle back into the waterRuddy Duck female starting to settle back into the water – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Even though the females are plain I like the stripe that goes through their cheeks and their dark eyes in the dark cap .

Female Ruddy Duck with a feather on her billFemale Ruddy Duck with a feather on her bill – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Most of the time the Ruddy Ducks I see at are Farmington Bay WMA are simply resting so when they preen or fluff up I enjoy the action.

Fluffed up Ruddy Duck femaleFluffed up Ruddy Duck female – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This series of Ruddy Duck hen images took just a little less than 8 seconds and then she tucked her bill back under her scapular and closed her eyes again.

Life is good and just ducky at times.

Mia

6 Comments

  1. Jane Chesebrough February 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    You captured so much at the shutter speed you used. I thought this was a male after reading Ron’s but went to my field guide-oh.One of my favourite birds to observe.

  2. CJ Oakley February 7, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Wonderful series Mia.

    I’ll never forget my first sighting of a ruddy duck pair in southern Saskatchewan. I raced home to tell my daughter I saw some ruddy ducks. Without missing a beat she replied “honestly Mum – there’s no need to be rude.” 🙂

    Love these tip-tailed beauties – male and female alike.

  3. Tom Martin February 7, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Beautiful series Mia, thanks. Tom

  4. Jolanta February 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Very nice pictures! Thank you 🙂

  5. Elephant's Child February 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    What a busy eight seconds. She deserves a rest.

  6. Patty Chadwick February 7, 2015 at 8:47 am

    She sure is a cutie! Love the way the colors and patternes in the water echo the colors in the duck…some nice curves, textures and wing positions, too…

Comments are closed.