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North American Shoveler
Ferruginous White Eye

[ Canvasback ] [ Common Goldeneye ] [ Burrow's Goldeneye ]
[ Bufflehead ] [ Ferruginous ]   [ Smew ]
[ Greater Scaup ] [ Lesser Scaup ] [ Hooded Merganser ]
[ Rosy Billed Pochard ] [ Redhead Pochard ] [ Red Crested Pochard ]
[ Tufted ]



A small Eurasian species. Male and female are very similar in color.

Ferruginous Males are a deep chestnut brown with a white triangular patch under the tail and a white belly. The white eyes stand out from the dark feathers on the head. The edges of the wings are white, with this coloring visible only in flight.

Ferruginous Females are similarly patterned, but tend to be a duller brown, with no hint of red and the iris of the eye is brown instead of white . The beak is short, giving the peaked head a particularly triangular appearance. 


The Ferruginous duck breeds during May and June. The female builds a nest from reeds, grass and leaves and lines it with down from her breast. Well concealed in thick vegetation, she lays between 8 to 10 pale buff eggs which she incubates for 25 to 28 days. Ferruginous ducks share a seasonal pair bond, but the male habitually deserts the female during incubation. The chicks are tended by the female alone until they fledge at 55 to 60 days. They reach sexual maturity their first year.


General Comments

The old name for this species was White-eyed Pochard but it was rightly considered that the reddish coloring of the bird's plumage was a more distinctive feature than the color of its eyes. The deep mahogany-red color is most obvious in the male but can also be seen in the female in good light. From a distance, a more striking feature is the white triangular patch under the tail. Some Tufted Ducks do show a similar patch, especially in late summer, but it is never as neat and contrastingly white as on a Ferruginous Duck. If you are in any doubt, then the peaked, almost triangular head of Ferruginous should clinch the matter. In flight Ferruginous Ducks look black and white like Tufted Ducks but their white wing bars look even more striking since they extend across all the primaries. The neater, more clearly defined white belly is another useful feature.



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Ferruginous Drake

Ferruginous Hen

Ferruginous  Pair

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