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Redhead - Aythya americana



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Anseriformes
 Family: Anatidae
 Genus: Aythya
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern


Redhead The redhead is a diving duck that is 17-21 in length with a wingspan of 30-31 inches. It has a rounded head and a grayish-blue bill with a black tip. It has grayish-blue legs and feet and a gray stripe on its wings. The male has a copper colored head, a gray back, and a black breast and rump. The female is a grayish-brown on her back, sides, and wings. She has a lighter grayish-brown belly.


mapThe redhead breeds in central Alaska, the Great Plains, the Great Lakes, and in the some areas of the western U.S. and Canada. It winters in the southern U.S. and along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts south into Mexico.


The redhead is found in shallow freshwater lakes, ponds, marshlands, coastal waters, and bays.


The redhead is a diving duck. It searches for aquatic vegetation in muddy shallow areas of water. It may also eat mollusks, aquatic insects, and small fish

Life Cycle

Redhead Pairs form in the late winter or the early spring. The female lays 10-16 eggs in a cup-shaped nest lined with down and attached to reeds and other marsh vegetation. The male leaves the female once she begins to incubate the eggs. The eggs hatch in 25-26 days. The ducklings are precocial and can feed themselves shortly after hatching. The ducklings fledge when they are about two months old. The female sometimes lays her eggs in the nests of other ducks.


Like most diving ducks, the redhead's legs are set back on its body to help it swim and dive. It is awkward on land, and it has to run across the water to take of in flight. The male has a meow-like call, and the female makes a squawking sound.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Allen Chartier cc logo