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.
The females are sort of plain, most female ducks are, but I love watching and photographing these stocky, stiff-tailed ducks.
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 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)
They also lay very large white eggs that have a pebbly surface. Males do not help with brooding or raising the young.
Even though the females are plain I like the stripe that goes through their cheeks and their dark eyes in the dark cap .
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.
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.