North American Ruddy Duck: here’s the scoop


The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable. Ruddy ducks depend heavily on wetlands in the prairie pothole region of North America, where grazing, burning, and wetland drainage have degraded portions of their habitat. Their future success will depend in large part on the protection and restoration of that region.


North American Ruddy Duck

Scientific name

Oxyura jamaicensis


Breeding season is spent in large marshes, stock ponds, reservoirs and deep natural basins. During winter months, they inhabit freshwater wetlands, lakes, reservoirs, coastal marshes and tidal estuaries


Aquatic invertebrates, larvae, insects, aquatic plants and seeds

life expectancy

10 – 13 years

Did you know?

Ruddy ducks lay the largest of all duck eggs relative to the size of their body.


Canada, United States, Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica

Conservation status

Least Concern

Widespread and abundant