Aythya americana




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



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Breeding Location:

Lakes, Marshes

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Brood parasite

Breeding Population:

Egg Color:

Pale olive, buff or dull white

Number of Eggs:

9 - 14

Incubation Days:

23 - 29

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Grass lined with down.





Redhead: Medium-sized diving duck with gray back and sides, black upper back, breast, rump, and tail, and white belly. Head and neck are rufous-brown, and blue-gray bill is black-tipped; eyes are yellow. Female is pale brown overall with gray-brown back and belly; bill is gray with a black tip. Juvenile resembles female. Eclipse male is similar to breeding male but is much duller.

Range and Habitat

Redhead: Breeds in the northern prairies of the U.S. and Canada from Alaska south to Colorado and intermountain marshes of the west and southwest. Spends winters across the southern U.S. from California to Florida and south into Mexico. Declining in the East. Nests in marshes, open lakes, and bays; often winters on saltwater.

Breeding and Nesting

Redhead: Nine to fourteen pale olive, buff, or dull white eggs are laid in a shallow cup of plant material lined with down, built in tall vegetation near water. Incubation ranges from 23 to 29 days and is carried out by the female. Sometimes lays eggs in nests of other waterbirds.

Foraging and Feeding

Redhead: Feeds on seeds, rhizomes, and tubers of pondweeds, wild celery, water lilies, grass, and wild rice; also eats mollusks, aquatic insects, and small fish; forages by diving from the water surface.


Redhead: Utters a cat-like "whee-uogh" or "keyair." Also makes a low, trilling "rrrrr."

Similar Species

Redhead: Canvasback is larger and has dark bill.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X