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The "Ruddy Duck" is known for its beautiful light bill in the male species with rust color plumage with black. This species of duck is a great sight to see especially in their courtship display. The male has a dark brown cap and white cheeks divided by a brown line, grayish brown body and a dark tail. The adult female has a dark cap and white cheek divided by a brown line and is a grayish mottled brown with white wing linings and dark flight feathers. The brownish upper wing coverts and has all dark flight feathers. This duck lays the biggest egg for its body size. The ruddy duck is somewhat an oddball of North American waterfowl. The ruddy duck belongs to a group they call stiff tailed ducks, and they are excellent swimmers and divers and tend not to associate with other waterfowl. They are about 14-16" and considered a small chunky duck. They are usually silent in courtship, when the male utters continuous clucking and chuck notes. They tend to like freshwater marshes, lakes and ponds with dense vegetation, and in winter they prefer large bodies of water and occasionally salt marshes. They breed from British Columbia to Manitoba, south to Texas and in the Northeast around the coastal perimeter of the U.S. and as far inland as Missouri.