Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Redhead Duck at Busch Gardens Tampa

Redhead Duck

A big shout out to Jen over at "i used to hate birds" for helping me with the miss-identification of this beautiful male Redhead duck. I thought it was a female Lesser Scaup! Please pay Jen a visit and follow her beautiful nature blog! Thanks to Jen, I now have a new lifer!

The Redhead (Aythya americana) is a medium-sized diving duck, 37 cm long with an 84 cm wingspan.

The adult male has a blue bill, a red head and neck, a black breast, yellow eyes and a grey back. The adult female has a brown head and body and a darker bluish bill with a black tip.

The breeding habitat is marshes and prairie potholes in western North America. Loss of nesting habitat has led to sharply declining populations. Females regularly lay eggs in the nests of other Redheads or other ducks, especially Canvasbacks. Redheads usually take new mates each year, starting to pair in late winter.

Following the breeding season, males go through a molt which leaves them flightless for almost a month. Before this happens, they leave their mates and move to large bodies of water, usually flying further north.

They overwinter in the southern and north-eastern United States, the Great Lakes region, northern Mexico and the Caribbean.

Photograph by Craig Glenn at Busch Gardens Tampa

Thanks for stopping by,

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Jen said...

Ah thanks for the kind words, Craig. It's a great photo! And again, congrats on the lifer!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It is the first time I am seeing this duck Craig. I like his red-headed fashion statement. :)

The Write Girl said...

Beautiful photo of this little guy...I'm sure he is happy for that correction Craig! Thanks for sharing as always.

woodpecker said...

As I first caught sight of this great shot of the Redhead duck, the bird had a familiar look to it. For the life of me however I can not recall what it is I'm thinking of.

Kerri said...

A Beauty!