RUDDY DUCK, Oxyura jamaicensis


Photo by Greg Lavaty

Late fall is the best time to see this lively little freshwater duck. Along with other waterfowl, it migrates south through our region in November. It is most often seen on the Charles River, and may also be spotted in small groups on Crystal Lake. It is quite active in the water, diving frequently in search of aquatic plants and surfacing some distance away. The side of its face is white, and the bill seems large for its overall size. The relatively short tail is often held upright, giving the bird a jaunty appearance. If approached it will usually dive and swim some distance underwater rather than fly off.

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