My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!



The Redhead is another locally common winter visitor along the Great Lakes but inland where I am located . . . . once again they are not as common. Whenever Redheads are located in my county they are typically during the peak waterfowl season (Mid-late March) with only one or two individuals being found. I was very delighted finding them swimming with the Canvasbacks and Scaup species last Wednesday which are reported as being frequently found diving together. I didn’t see that many Redheads but there were enough to capture a few photos for me to do another species profile.

Redhead Pair
Redhead Pair and Canada Goose

The Redheads have a bright reddish/brown heads with a cute bluish/gray bill with a black tip. Unlike the Canvasback they have a yellow eye and more grayer body. Females are all brown with the rounder head than the scaup species. Other might consider these guys not such an amazing find but to me they are on the top of my duck list of locating!


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27 responses

  1. I think they are an awesome find, Tom! I’ve got to get out my birdie books and see if I should be able to find these different ducks on Lake Ontario, too!

    24 February 2008 at 6:32 pm

  2. I saw Redheads this fall at one of the reservoirs just outside our city. There were there just for a day but I enjoyed watching them dive with my binoculars. As usual, your pictures are excellent.

    24 February 2008 at 6:39 pm

  3. I like Redheads. I wish I saw them more often.

    24 February 2008 at 8:33 pm

  4. I’d like to know where on Lake Erie there is open water?
    Not here that is for sure. the bay is completely frozen over and Don told me the lake from here to Canada is also. Keep in mind the shallowest part of the lake is here.
    The last time I saw open water on the bay we had snow geese.

    24 February 2008 at 8:55 pm

  5. I need to reach for my field guide, too. I’d love to see a Redhead! Great photos, Tom :o)

    24 February 2008 at 9:15 pm

  6. @ Pam – thanks and you should be able to find them up in places like Braddock Bay, etc..
    @ Ruth – thanks and they are such a great bird! Thanks
    @ John – they are a great find for sure and happy to have found some!
    @ Toni – sent you an email at they are at Dunkirk Harbor which is open from a near by waste water treatment plant. Now, next time you have snow geese . . . Maybe I could make a roadtrip!
    @ Mary – glad and they are great for sure! I think my mother would like me to find a different kind of redhead but that’s for another post!

    24 February 2008 at 10:07 pm

  7. So exciting when one sees a rare bird to our area!
    You show me that there are more to ducks than just the Mallard! A nice calming photo. :)NG

    24 February 2008 at 10:50 pm

  8. Great photos. I love ducks. ~nita~

    25 February 2008 at 12:10 am

  9. Redheads and Canvasbacks are great birds! Locally, I have to travel about 40 minutes (well worth the drive) if I want to see any. In March I will do so. Thanks for the “coming attractions” photos.

    25 February 2008 at 3:13 am

  10. this would also be a first for me as well… glad you captured it!

    25 February 2008 at 5:17 am

  11. They are quite beautiful with the contrasting colors, esp. the blue gray bill. Lovely photos Tom.

    25 February 2008 at 6:49 am

  12. Lisa at Greenbow

    Indeed handsome ducks. We always look forward to seeing them during winter too.

    25 February 2008 at 7:01 am

  13. I’ve only seen Redheads once or twice, but I was amazed at how easy it was to tell them from the Canvasbacks. They looked so similar in the books!

    25 February 2008 at 7:56 am

  14. Nice shots! Redheads are rare here – I’ve seen only 1 female and that’s it. I’d be very happy to find a spiffy male like you did.

    25 February 2008 at 11:50 am

  15. I love this blog. Now when I look out into the open water (when it comes back) I’ll not just see “ducks”, I’ll see the different species of waterfowl and try to identify them.

    25 February 2008 at 1:19 pm

  16. Beautiful ducks–nice find. I shall stop on my way into town to see if there are any ducks along New River.

    25 February 2008 at 1:36 pm

  17. Oh wow, they are so cute! Beautiful shots, Tom!

    25 February 2008 at 3:37 pm

  18. One of the most downplayed but beautiful ducks out there. Sadly, not many here since we didn’t get any good freezes. Nice pictures!

    25 February 2008 at 4:31 pm

  19. @ Naturegirl – LOL, yep there are a few more duck species than Mallards! LOL
    @ Nita – hope all is going good with you! I worry about you! Thanks
    @ Vern – Thanks and I so agree . . . It was just over an hour trip to see these guys!
    @ aullori – thanks and glad you enjoyed them!
    @ Jayne – thanks and love the blue/gray bill!
    @ Lisa – thanks, o o you are not talking about me! Only kidding, they are great visitors for sure!
    @ Rurality – they can be tough to find and feel very lucky to come across!
    @ Adam – thanks and you would be in aww with these guys! I hope to give you luck in finding the male!
    @ Linda – Thanks and be sure to look for many species of ducks! You live in a great area for them!
    @ Joan – thanks and hope you had some on your visit!
    @ Lisa – thanks and they are!
    @ Marty – I have to agree and surprised you don’t get many of these guys! Thanks

    25 February 2008 at 6:35 pm

  20. I’ve got to get out to some open water. These duck pictures are making me impatient for waterfowl observations. Do you know how few people even know these birds let alone get to see them?

    25 February 2008 at 7:38 pm

  21. I love Red-headed ducks, they are gorgeous!

    25 February 2008 at 8:52 pm

  22. Marg

    I just saw some Redheads today-and a Ruddy 😀

    Glad you got to see them too-they are gorgeous aren’t they J?

    25 February 2008 at 8:59 pm

  23. That was funny about your mother =) Handsome ducks, for sure! I don’t remember seeing any before, but surely I must have. We have lots of mallards and coots (so cute) and the beautiful wood ducks.

    25 February 2008 at 9:01 pm

  24. @ Cathy – Thanks and don’t you love seeing all the waterfowl return? Many probably see but don’t know there species name.
    @ YN-J – these guys are fun for sure and wish I could see them more! Thanks
    @ Marg – Ruddies are my favorite of the ducks! Thanks
    @ Rondi – LOL and shouldn’t be too long (few weeks) before our Woodducks return! Thanks

    26 February 2008 at 6:51 am

  25. Hi Tom,
    My husband enjoys the water fowl the most I think. These Red Heads are very lovely ducks.
    I would have to travel a bit to see them but it would be worth it!

    26 February 2008 at 9:44 am

  26. Grace

    I learned to ID waterfowl, including Redheads and Canvasbacks, at Dunkirk Harbor. The power plant was Niagara Mohawk then, I suppose it’s National Grid now.

    27 February 2008 at 12:10 am

  27. That’s a duck I’ve never seen.-Nice find for you-Thanks for the description and photo.

    27 February 2008 at 7:55 pm

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