Andean Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea)
(aka Ruddy Duck)
Chilean name: Pato rana de pico ancho
Andean Duck, Torres del Paine, Chile, December 2005 - click for larger image Torres del Paine, Chile
December 2005

There is considerable debate about the taxonomy of this species with many authorities considering it to be a sub-species of Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis which is found in North America and the Caribbean as well as in South America. Others treat the South American sub-species O. j. andina and O. j. ferruginea as a separate species.

Andean Duck, Torres del Paine, Chile, December 2005 - click for larger image Whatever the true situation, the sub-species ferruginea is distributed along the Andes chain from southern Colombia to Tierra del Fuego where it is found on lakes, pools and marshes.

The male is chestnut with a black head and a bright blue bill which has a slight bump over the nostril as can be seen in photo 2. This is one feature that distinguishes it from the Lake Duck others being the more rounded head and the steeper forehead. It usually holds its tail cocked.

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