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Redhead Duck

Aythya americana
Redheads are medium-size diving ducks that commonly winter in the coastal bays and lagoons along the Laguna Madre. They breed in the western United States and Canada and arrive on Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge from mid-October through the end of November. About 80 percent of the redhead population winters in the Laguna Madre, and this species accounts for more than 60 percent of the duck use on the refuge.

Redheads feed in the Laguna Madre on seagrasses such as shoalgrass and use the fresh and brackish water lagoons and lakes for drinking water and for loafing. The Laguna Madre is the chief wintering habitat for redheads because of the abundance of seagrasses, the relatively undisturbed nature of the area, and the availability of freshwater sources in the adjacent mainland. Industrial, urban, and recreational developments along this area influence waterfowl use of the Laguna Madre. Because of this, the value of Laguna Atascosa Refuge will become even more important to this species as development, use and pollution of the Laguna Madre increases.

In dry years, there is a shortage of freshwater wetlands along the Laguna Madre, and the refuge’s lakes such as Laguna Atascosa Lake and the Laguna del Cayo become increasingly important to this species.

Facts About Redhead Duck

Redheads are identifiable by their blue bills with a black tip.

Males have a distinctive red head and neck with yellow eyes and a black breast.

Last Updated: Mar 06, 2013
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