RUDDY DUCK Oxyura jamaicensis

Since southern subspecies were split as Andean Duck, this taxon's natural breeding range is southern Canada and western USA, with small numbers in Mexico and the West Indies. Until recently it was very common in Europe, all thought to originate from escapees. However, an eradication program has been undertaken in many countries in order to protect White-headed Duck with which it hybridises. A formerly common species in the UK it has been reduced to less than a hundred birds. It has been suggested that natural vagrancy has never occurred, but I find this difficult to believe, although based on only one record from the Azores it is possible.

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