oxyura (from oxys, pointed, and oura, tail) jamaicensis (of the island of Jamaica)
Wednesday, March 19, 1980 — 4:15pm
Barrington, Illinois — Crabtree Nature Center
I was sitting in the blind on Crabtree Lake when I spotted this Ruddy Duck. It was sleeping with its head tucked into the feathers on its back. It stayed in that position, drifting toward me, for approximately 20 minutes. It looked up only once, due to a near collision with a male Mallard. I left the blind and walked the trails for about 30 minutes. When I returned, it was swimming and diving in front of the blind. It held its long tail parallel to the surface and its bill was dark, not blue. I knew it was a Ruddy Duck, however, by its rust-brown plumage, white cheeks and dark cap.