Family: (Anatidae) Ducks, Geese and Swans
Preferred Habitat: Ponds, lakes bay.
Seasonal Occurrence: Very common November through April; uncommon in other seasons.
Notes: Ruddy Ducks are small, chunky, diving ducks. They are the most common of the stiff-tailed ducks sometimes found in large flocks. In breeding plumage males have a bright blue bill and rufous bodies. In winter, males have slate-gray bills with grayish-brown plumage. Females have a single smudgy horizontal dark line through their white cheek patch. Females are sometimes confused with the much more rare female Masked Duck. Female Masked Ducks are distinguished by two smudgy lines through a buff cheekpatch.
- Susan Billetdeaux