20 Jul 2011

Ruddy Duck: the Donald of the duck world

The Duck with the upright tail
This is a duck that really reminds me of Disney's Donald Duck cartoon.  Just look at the way he holds his tail.  Notice that, like the cartoon character, he has a large head, round, short body and prominent bill.  The Ruddy Duck even sounds somewhat like Donald Duck when he voices a sound, other than his mating call.  However, the best description for this duck is quite simply "charming." 

Round duck

The Ruddy Duck is a duck that you notice almost immediately on the water, and when you do, you can't help but watch him.  The black and white head, combined with the bright blue bill, is like a beacon calling your attention.  His upright posture and quick, alert movement give the impression of intelligence.  His diminutive size, half that of a Mallard, makes him seem somehow friendly.

                                                But don't let this fool you.  The Ruddy Duck has a temper, just like Donald.  Especially when he is competing for the charms of the female of his species, or defending his nest and young.

Ruddy duck Female
Girl Duck
The Ruddy Duck is also very shy.  If he feels himself watched, he immediately swims away, usually in a diagonal line.  However, if you get too close and frighten him, he simply dives from view, instead of flying off like other ducks do.

Ruddy Duck Male
I wonder if the Ruddy Duck really was the character model for the Donald Duck cartoon.  It would be interesting to find out.


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