Redhead Duck, Aythya americana
Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.
Redhead, Aythya americana
The Redhead is a medium-sized diving duck, 37 cm long with an 84 cm wingspan.
The adult male has a blue bill, a red head and neck, a black breast, and yellow eyes. The adult female has a brown head and body and a darker bluish bill with a black tip.
The breeding habitat is marshes and prairie potholes in western North America. Loss of nesting habitat has led to sharply declining populations. Females regularly lay eggs in the nests of other Redheads or other ducks, especially Canvasbacks.
Redheads usually take new mates each year, starting to pair in late winter. Following the breeding season, males go through a molt which leaves them flightless for almost a month. Before this happens, they leave their mates and move to large bodies of water, usually flying further north.
They overwinter in the southern and north-eastern United States, the Great Lakes region, northern Mexico and the Caribbean.
On to my photos, and this species made it easy, there were four, two males and two females that stayed close together:
Updated January 16th, 2014.
This is number 75 in my photo life list, only 275 to go!
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!