The male Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) is a small diving duck with a long tail, bright auburn feathers, white cheeks and a black cap and crown. The auburn abdomen is striped with white as well as the under tail covert. The white wing linings have dark grey remex. Its beak is blue and concave, its eyes black and its feet grey. The female is more dull-coloured compared to the drake. It has a dark brown forehead and a matching crown, a whitish head with a dark brown stripe across the cheeks, brown stripes, and a dark beak.
Ruddy ducks reproduce in the west of North America from the north east to Mexico in soft water lakes where the vegetation is lush. It can usually be found in brackish marshes. This species winters from southern Canada to the southern part of the United States, in northern Central America as well as in the Caribbeans.
The ruddy duck's nest is located in marsh vegetation and built slowly in accordance with the laying. The female lays one egg a day up to 5 to 10 eggs. It also lays eggs in the nest of its pairs and in the nest of other species. The incubation period lasts 22 to 26 days and only the female sits on the eggs. The ducklings are precocial and leave the nest the day they are born.
Ruddy ducks eat plants, seeds, roots, aphid larvae, crustaceans and aquatic insects.