[A male ruddy duck in nonbreeding plumage is floating in the water. He dives down into the water. He remains submerged, then pops back up. He dives again. Another duck swims by.] [Explore Macaulaylibrary.org]

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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.

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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