Waterfowl Identification

The Redhead, Aythya americana, drake is smaller than the Canvasback with which it is often confused. It has a reddish head, a rounded steep forehead, a blue-gray bill and its sides and back are grayish. The hen has a brown head and body and also a gray bill. The wings appear light tan in flight.
Image comparing drake and hen/UISFWS Drake

Range coast to coast, with the largest numbers in the Central Flyway. Migratory flocks travel in V's; move in irregular formations over feeding areas. Often found associating with canvasback.

In the air, they give the impression of always being in a hurry. Usually spend the day in large rafts in deep water; feed morning and evening in shallower sections.

Length: 20"
Weight: 2 1/2 lbs.

Image comparing fulvous and Black-bellied whistling ducks wings/USFWS


 Distribution Map

Similar Species

In Flight
In flight illustration/USFWS In flight illustration/USFWS In flight illustration/USFWS

Drakes purr and meow; hens have a loud squak, higher than a hen mallard's.

Last Updated: November 14, 2018