Long tail, often held up
Large, flat bill
Breeding: Non-breeding: (photographed)
Blue bill Gray-brown body
Rusty brown body Dark bill
Dark top of head
Grayish white face
Dark cheek stripe
Listen to its call.
According to the rare bird alert transcript, there have been a number of sightings of these ducks around Victoria recently. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any around here. However, I did manage to photograph this one in Walla Walla, Washington, a few days ago. I think it may have been the dark bill that was throwing me off. I was looking for a bright blue one.
Learn more about the Ruddy Duck.
There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.