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Duck details: Little Duck, Big Egg? Divers take off
|Relative to her body size, a ruddy duck lays bigger eggs than any other North American duck. In fact, a normal-size clutch of ruddy duck eggs can weigh more than the hen that laid them. Eggs will measure about 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches.
The duck lays five to ten eggs in a well-built nest of reeds, generally over water. The North American ruddy duck is the best known of the stiff-tail ducks. The ruddy is also one of North America's smallest waterfowl.
The ruddy is a beautiful bird, displaying a chestnut body, white mask on the head, and a bright blue bill. It is a diving duck that can remain underwater for more than 30 seconds.
All diving ducks take off by running. They head into the wind and patter over the surface, their big paddle-like feet giving extra forward momentum. On calm days, the bigger, fatter birds require a long run before rising clear of the water.
Diving ducks include: canvasbacks, redheads, scaup, ring-necked, goldeneye, bufflehead, ruddy, scoters, oldsquaw, harlequin, and eiders.
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