A Ruddy Duck in July

Ruddy Duck male

Dozens of Ruddy Ducks visited the North Basin during the winter months.  That’s the expected behavior.  As the expert bird websites will tell you, in the summer breeding season these birds usually hang out in the ponds and wetlands of the northern US Midwest and central Canada.  But, as I’ve learned with the recent Scaup individuals, migration isn’t for everybird.  For reasons of their own that we may never discover, a few birds are outliers, loners perhaps, possibly pioneers and scouts, or just beating their wings to a different drummer.  Here’s one of them, with his bright blue bill, black and white head, and rust brown body.  He’s carrying his tail feathers down at the moment.  Usually they carry them up.  Does that mean he’s depressed?  As far as I could tell at the moment, he’s the only one of his feather here.  A group of three female Mallards approached him and got within about ten feet, possibly checking him out, but then did a 180.  

Mallard approaching Ruddy Duck
Mallard turning back on Ruddy Duck

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