Redhead (duck)

Redhead (duck)

name = Redhead
status = LC | status_system = IUCN3.1

image_width = 200px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Anseriformes
familia = Anatidae
subfamilia = Anatinae
genus = "Aythya"
species = "A. americana"
binomial = "Aythya americana"
binomial_authority = (Eyton, 1838)

The Redhead ("Aythya americana") 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, yellow eyes and a grey back. 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.

This strong migrant is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.

These birds feed mainly by diving or dabbling. They mainly eat aquatic plants with some molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish.



* Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

External links

* [ Redhead Species Account] - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
* [ Redhead - "Aythya americana"] USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
* [ Redhead Information and Photos] - South Dakota Birds and Birding
* [ Redhead videos] on the Internet Bird Collection

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  • Redhead — may refer to:* A person with red hair *Redhead (duck), a North American duck, Aythya americana * A colloquial name for the immatures and adult females (i.e., any non adult male) of some other ducks, notably smew and mergansers * The milkweed… …   Wikipedia

  • Redhead — Red head ( h?d ), n. 1. A person having red hair. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) An American duck ({Aythya Americana}) highly esteemed as a game bird. It is closely allied to the canvasback, but is smaller and its head brighter red. Called also …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • redhead — [red′hed΄] n. 1. a person with red hair ☆ 2. a North American diving duck (Aythya americana): the male is similar to the canvasback in having a red head, black breast, and grayish body …   English World dictionary

  • redhead — /red hed /, n. 1. a person having red hair. 2. an American diving duck, Aythya americana, the male of which has a bright chestnut red head. [1655 65; RED1 + HEAD] * * * ▪ bird       (Aythya americana), North American diving duck (family Anatidae) …   Universalium

  • duck — duck1 /duk/, n., pl. ducks, (esp. collectively for 1, 2) duck. 1. any of numerous wild or domesticated web footed swimming birds of the family Anatidae, esp. of the genus Anas and allied genera, characterized by abroad, flat bill, short legs, and …   Universalium

  • duck — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) v. nod, bob; dodge, avoid, elude; dip, immerse, plunge. n. drake. See avoidance, water, birds. II (Roget s IV) n. Types and breeds of ducks include: freshwater, sea, gadwall, garganey, shoveler,… …   English dictionary for students

  • redhead — noun Date: 1664 1. a person having red hair 2. a North American duck (Aythya americana) resembling the related canvasback but having a shorter bill with a black tip and in the male a brighter reddish head …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • redhead — noun a) A person with red hair. b) A North American duck. Syn: bloodnut, Bluey, carrot top, ginger …   Wiktionary

  • redhead — noun 1》 a person, especially a woman, with red hair. 2》 a North American diving duck resembling the pochard. [Aythya americana.] Derivatives red headed adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • redhead — red•head [[t]ˈrɛdˌhɛd[/t]] n. 1) a person with red hair 2) orn a North American diving duck, Aythya americana, the male of which has a chestnut red head • Etymology: 1655–65 …   From formal English to slang

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