photo by Phil Swanson

Aythya americana
L 19″(48 cm).

Song or calls:
Male courting call is a loud “meow,”

Description: Large rounded chestnut head, black breast and tail, gray back and sides. Bill is blue with a black tip, and a white stripe behind the black tip. Females uniform brown, black tip at end of a pale bill.

Habitat: Breeding birds prefer larger marshes with both open areas and stands of emergent vegetation.

Where in Nebraska: Common, locally abundant, regular spring and fall migrant accross the state. A common regular Breeder in the Sandhills region; breeding much less frequent in the Rainwater Basin.

Field Notes: Divers, like the Redhead, require larger lakes and reserviors with extensive marsh habitat along the borders.

Fun Facts: Redheads are parsitic, in that they lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks including other Redheads, however, many of these laid eggs fail to hatch.

female Redhead - NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Redhead - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)