North-western and central United States and Mexico.
Lakes, ponds, marshlands, coastal waters and bays.
The male has a black chest and tail feathers and a white belly. He is predominantly grey on the sides and back, with a large rounded rust-red head. The female is brownish except for her white belly and a white spot below the bill. Both male and female have a blue bill tipped with black and both exhibit broad grey wing-stripes when they fly.
Like other bay and sea ducks, these are diving ducks with legs placed closer to the tail to aid in swimming underwater in search of aquatic plants and animals. Because they are heavy birds they must run along the surface of the water when taking flight. Vocalization for females is squawks and for males is cat-like meows and purrs.
9-15 eggs are laid in a down-lined nest. Incubation takes 23-29 days and is exclusively the females responsibility. The male drifts off after a few days of the female laying the eggs. Young fledglings fly about 9 weeks after hatching.
This animal species is not currently on display at the Zoo.
|Length:||18 - 22 inches|
|Weight:||Males: 900 - 1400 grams; females: 900 - 990 grams|
|Wild Diet:||Small aquatic plants and animals. (90 % vegetable)|
|USFWS Status:||Not Listed|
|CITES Status:||Not Listed|