Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network   Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Contact Us   Site Index 
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
About the Chesapeake BayVisit a GatewayMap CenterSee the BayFacts and FunThe Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

     Bay Info
     Bay History
     Exploring the Bay
     Places and People
     Bay Regions
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Home > About the Chesapeake > Exploring the Bay > Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl > Types of Waterfowl > Redhead
Redhead (Aythya americana)
Redhead
Overview:

Medium-sized diving duck 18” to 23” long with an average wingspan of 33”. Drakes have a round, rust-colored head with gray body plumage and a black breast and tail. Hens are brown with a flecked patch on the face. Both sexes have a striking gray wing stripe and a blue-gray bill with a narrow white band above the black tip.

Habitat:

Tidal rivers and bays.

Range:

Redheads typically breed in from Alaska and the “prairie pothole” country of western Canada to the upper American Midwest and even as far south as California and Colorado. Those entering the Atlantic Flyway follow a typical autumn-spring migration pattern to and from wintering grounds in the Bay region.

Diet:

Aquatic plants.

Call:

Drakes make catlike mewing and purring sounds; hens have a squawky quack. Listen to a sample (Requires RealPlayer)

Cool Facts:

Historically only about 10 to 12 percent of the North American population of redheads has overwintered in the Chesapeake. Today, as with the American black duck, redheads are in serious decline, due in large part to habitat destruction and hunting pressure. Redhead females also are notoriously uninvolved parents; an estimated 40 to 50 percent of hens lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks, and hatchlings typically are left to fend for themselves even before they can fly.

The decoy pictured is from the collection of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art and was photographed by Middleton Evans. Waterfowl sounds are courtesy of the Macaulay Lab of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


Printer Symbol Print Version   Envelope Mail Symbol E-mail To a Friend   Provide Your Comments Comments/Feedback   Bookmark This Page Bookmark This Page

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use| Browser Plug-ins | RSS Feeds | Copyright 2009 Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network Chesapeake Bay ProgramNational Park Service