Unlike dabbling ducks, Ruddy Ducks obtain most of their food by diving to the bottom of shallow pools of water. There they feed on invertebrate and plant matter that they gather by straining mud through a series of plates on their bill. They can sift particles of food from water using a comblike structure on their tongue. They eat aquatic insects, crustaceans, zooplankton, and other invertebrates, along with small amounts of aquatic plants and seeds.

Waterfowl are all around us. Are you confident identifying them even when they’re on the other side of the pond? Get training in identifying waterfowl from all angles and benefit from strategies like noticing “where is the white?” to take your birding skills to the next level.
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This video accompanies Chapter 8, Avian Food and Foraging, Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wiley Publishing.

Recorded by Jay W McGowan, Macaulay Library