While most ducks pair up on the wintering grounds prior to spring, the Ruddy Duck waits until it has returned to its breeding grounds to form pairs. The Ruddy Duck is a nocturnal migrant and usually travels in small groups. Males often arrive on the breeding grounds slightly before females.
The Ruddy Duck has large feet that are set far back on its body to assist in diving. A typical foraging dive lasts about 20 seconds. Male Ruddy Ducks defend a small area around their mates, but do not defend a traditional territory.
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Description of the Ruddy Duck
The Ruddy Duck is a small diving duck with a rather wide bill and long tail that is often held up at an angle.
Males have dark reddish bodies, a black cap, a large white cheek patch, and a blue bill.
Females are grayish-brown with a dark line through the eye and a white line above it.
Seasonal change in appearance
Males in nonbreeding plumage are brownish but retain the white cheek patch.
The immature Ruddy Duck is similar to the adult female.
Ruddy Ducks inhabit ponds, marshes and lakes, and also estuaries in winter.
Ruddy Ducks primarily eat roots, seeds, and insects.
Ruddy Ducks dive to forage, using their wide bills to strain food.
Ruddy Ducks occur throughout most of the U.S. and southern Canada, breeding in the west and wintering across parts of the western and southeastern U.S. The population appears stable.
Ruddy Ducks often lay eggs in one another’s nests, and a single female can lay as many as 60 eggs in a season.
Ruddy Ducks are nearly helpless on land, and for them to take flight from water requires a running start.
The female Ruddy Duck makes a nasal quack. Males are generally silent.
- The wide bill and the face patterns of males and females help distinguish the Ruddy Duck from other small ducks.
The Ruddy Duck’s nest is a platform of cattails and grasses anchored to emergent vegetation.
Number: Usually 6-10 large eggs.
Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 24 days and leave the nest within a day after hatching, but are not fledged for about 6-7 weeks.
Bent Life History of the Ruddy Duck
Published by the Smithsonian Institution between the 1920s and the 1950s, the Bent life history series of monographs provide an often colorful description of the birds of North America. Arthur Cleveland Bent was the lead author for the series. The Bent series is a great resource and often includes quotes from early American Ornithologists, including Audubon, Townsend, Wilson, Sutton and many others.
Bent Life History for the Ruddy Duck – the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written.
ERISMATURA JAMAICENSIS (Gmelin)
This curious little duck is in a class by itself, differing in several peculiarities from any other North American duck. It is widely scattered over the most extensive breeding range of any of our ducks, from far north to far south and from our eastern to our western coasts. Its molts and plumages are unique, involving a complete seasonal change from the gaudy nuptial to the dull and somber autumn dress; e~’en the seasonal changes in the oldsquaw are less striking. But its eggs furnish the greatest surprise of all; for. although this is one of our smallest ducks, it lays eggs which are about as large as those of the great blue heron or the wild turkey. In its appearance and behavior it is also unique and exceedingly interesting. One must see it on its breeding grounds, in all its glory, to appreciate what a striking picture is the male ruddy duck. In the midst of a sea of tall, waving flags a quiet, sheltered pool reflects on its glassy surface the dark green of its surroundings, an appropriate setting for the little gem of bird life that floats gently on its surface, his back glowing with the rich, red brown of his nuptial attire, offset by the pure white of his cheeks, his black crown, and above all his wonderful bill of the brightest, living, glowing sky blue. He knows he is handsome as he glides smoothly along, without a ripple, his saucy sprigtail held erect or even pointed forward till it nearly meets his upturned head; he seems to strut like a miniature turkey gobbler.
Courtship: His mate knows that he is handsome, too, as she shyly watches him from her retreat among the flags, where perhaps she is already building her basket like nest. As she swims out to meet him his courtship display becomes more ardent; he approaches her with his head stretched up to the full extent of his short neck and his eyes gleaming under two swollen protuberances above them like the eyes of a frog; with his chest puffed out like a pouter pigeon, he bows and nods, slapping his broad, blue bill against his ruddy breast; its tip striking the water and making a soft, clucking sound. Should a rival male appear upon the scene, he rushes toward him, they clash in an angry struggle, and disappear beneath the surface in desperate combat, until the vanquished one skulks away and leaves the victor to strut and display his charms with more pride than ever. Since the above was written, Dr. Alexander Wetmore (1920) has published an accurate description of what is apparently the same performance, but rather than repeat it here, I would refer the reader to it.
Mrs. Florence Merriam Bailey (1919) describes it more briefly, thus:
When I arrived only two pairs were in evidence, the puffy little drakes looking very cocky and belligerent, suggesting pouter doves with their air of importance and the curious muscular efforts by which they produced their strange notes. When I first saw one perform, not knowing about his tracheal air sac, I thought he might be picking at his breast or have something stuck in his throat and be choking. With quick nods of the head that Jerked the chin in, he pumped up and down, till finally a harsh guttural cluck was emitted from his smooth, blue bill. Often in doing chin exercises the little drakes pumped up a labored ip-ip-tp-ip-u-cluck; cluck, producing it with such effort that the vertical tail pressed forward over the back, as if to help in the expulsion, afterwards springing erect again.
Nesting: In the deep-water sloughs of North Dakota we found the ruddy ducks nesting in abundance.; the ideal conditions found here are to be found in many places throughout the west, where the nesting habits of the species are probably similar. In these large sloughs there are extensive tracts of tall reeds, bullrushes, or flags, often higher than a man’s head and growing so thickly that nothing can be seen through them at a little distance. In these excellent hiding places the ruddy duck conceals its nest, and so well is this done that even after the nest has once been located it is extremely difficult to find it again. The nests are basketlike structures, well made of the reeds, bullrushes, or flags, closely interwoven; the material always matches the surroundings of the nest, so sometimes the nest is made of the dry stalks only and sometimes partially or wholly of the green material, producing a very pretty effect. The nest is built up some 7 or 8 inches above the level of the water, which is often more than knee deep, and attached firmly to the growing reeds; a sloping pile of reeds is usually added as a stairway leading to the nest, down which the duck can quickly slide into the water on the approach of danger; and the growing reeds above are often arched over the nest in such a way as nearly to conceal it. There is no lining in the nest except a few finer bits of reeds and flags; and what little down is found there may be more accidental than an intentional lining. From such a well-concealed nest the departure of the duck could never be seen; she simply slides into the water and slinks away like a grebe. The female is particularly shy during the breeding season and seldom shows herself near the nest.
The man who found the first ruddy duck’s nest must have been surprised and puzzled, for he would never suppose that such large eggs could belong to such a small duck. W. H. Collins (1881) mistook the first eggs of this species that he found at St. Clair Flats for brant’s eggs, because the ruddy ducks kept out of sight and some brant happened to be flying about the marsh. But the next season, when no l)rant were to be seen, he succeeded in identifying the eggs by a careful study of the feathers in the nest, the parents keeping out of sight, as usual. He did finally succeed in seeing a female ruddy leave her nest and swim away under water to the nearest clump of rushes. According to Rev. J. H. Langille (1884), the nesting habits of this duck are somewhat different in this vicinity from what they are in North Dakota. He says:
The nest, built some time in June, is placed in the sedges or marsh grass over the water, and may contain as many as 10 eggs, remarkably large for the size of the bird, oval or slightly ovate, the lightly granulated shell being almost pure white, tinged with the slightest shade of grayish blue. The nest may be quite well built of fine colored grasses, circularly laid, or simply a mere matting together of the tops of the green marsh grass, with a slight addition of some dry, flexible material. I found one nest on a hollow side of a floating log. It consisted of a few dried grasses and rushes laid in a loose circle. Indeed, the bird Inclines to build a very slight nest.
Robert B. Rockwell (1911) has found the ruddy duck nesting in still more open situations in Colorado. On May 31, 1907, he found a fine set of 10 eggs in an excavation in the side of a large muskrat house, without any downy lining whatever, and only a few inches above the water level. On June 8 this nest contained 11 eggs, 2 of which were canvasback’s or redhead’s; there was also a new nest of the canvasback, containing 8 fresh eggs, on the other side of the same muskrat house and only 4 feet away; and, moreover, a new ruddy duck’s nest, containing 3 fresh eggs, was found on top of the house and about midway between the two nests. “This was a mere unlined depression in the litter composing the house, entirely without concealment of any kind, and the great snowy white egg~~ could be seen from a distance of many yards.” Three ducks’ nests on one muskrat house is certainly a remarkable record.
The ruddy duck has been known to use an abandoned nest of the American coot, which sometimes is not much unlike its own. Doctor Wetmore tells me that in the Bear River marshes in Utah the old nests of the redheads are commonly appropriated by the ruddy ducks. It also lays its eggs in other duck’s nests and even in grebe’s nests. At Crane Lake, Saskatchewan, I flushed a female ruddy duck from a clump of bulrushes in the midst of a large colony of western grebes; a careful search through the clump revealed only grebes’ nests, but one of the nests held 2 eggs of the western grebe and 1 egg of the ruddy duck. I have found ruddy ducks’ eggs in the nests of the redhead and the canvasback, and others have mentioned the same thing; the other two species often lay in the ruddy ducks’ nests also, so that it is sometimes difficult to decide which was the original owner of the nest.
Eggs: The ruddy duck is said to lay as many as 19 or 20 eggs, but such large sets are not common; the numbers usually run from 6 to 9 or 10. The eggs are often deposited in two layers and with the largest numbers in three layers; it is obviously impossible for so small a duck to cover any large number of such large eggs. The indications are that in the more southern portions of its range two broods may be raised in a season, which seems to be very much prolonged. William G. Smith says in his notes that he has taken young birds in the down as late as October 16 in Colorado. The eggs are distinctive and could hardly be mistaken for anything else. They vary somewhat in shape from short ovate to elongate ovate, or from oval to elliptical oval. The shell is thick and decidedly rough and granular, much more so than any other duck’s egg. When first laid the eggs are pure, dull white or creamy white, but they become more or less stained during incubation. The measurements of 80 eggs, in the and the writer’s collections, average 62.3 by 45.6 millimeters; the eggs showing the four extremes measure 67.6 by 44.5, 66.5 by 48, 59.4 by 45.4 and 61.3 by 42.6 millimeters.
Young: The period of incubation seems to be unknown, but it is probably not far from 30 days. It is apparently performed by the female alone, although the male does not desert the female at this season, and, contrary to the rule among ducks, he remains with the young family and helps care for them until they are fully grown. Dr. Alexander Wetmore writes to me as follows:
The male ruddy ducks in most instances remain with the females after the young hatch, and it Is a common sight to see a male, with tail erect and breast and throat puffed out, swimming at the head of a brood of newly hatched young In a compact flock, while the female follows behind. When such families are approached the adults submerge quietly and disappear with no demonstration whatever, while the young, left to their own devices, make off as rapidly as possible, still maintaining their close formation. Only when seriously threatened do they dive and then scatter. As they grow older the young birds become more Independent, and usually when half grown are found separated from their parents. Occasionally, however, well-grown young are found with the female. Young as well as adults are more or less helpless on land, resembling grebes In this respect. Young birds half grown were able to waddle a few steps, but fell on the breast almost at once and then usually progressed by shoving along in a prostrate position with both feet stroking together. These half-grown birds were sullen and ferocious, and none that I had became tame at all. They invariably snapped and bit at my fingers when handled, and with open mouths resented every approach. When first hatched, the feet of these birds are truly enormous in proportion to the size of the body and form a certain index to the future activities of the ducklings.
According to Maj. Allan Brooks (1903), the “young when first hatched are, as might be expected, very large, and dive for their food, unlike all other young ducks, which take their food from the surface for several weeks.”
G. S. Miller, Jr. (1891), published the following observations on the behavior of young ruddy ducks on Cape Cod, Massachusetts:
On August 11 I found four young, accompanied by the female parent, on ~ large shallow pond which lies between the towns of Truro and Provincetown. At the approach of my hunt the old bird left her young and joined five other adults which were resting upon the water half a mile away; the young ones, however, were too young to fly, and so attempted to escape by swimming and diving to the shelter of a cat-tail island near which they happened to he when surprised. Two of them reached this place of safety, hut the others were secured after a troublesome chase. They were very expert divers, remaining beneath the surface for a considerable length of time, and on appearing again exposing the upper part of the head only, and that for hut a few seconds. As the water just here happened to he filled with pond weed (Potamogeton pectin atus and P. profoliatus), it was not difficult to trace the motions of the birds when beneath the surface by the commotion which they made in passing through the thick masses of vegetation. The flock of old birds contained at least two adult males, which were very conspicuous among their dull-colored companions. They were all very shy, so that it was impossible to approach to within less than 100 yards of them. The adults, as well as the two remaining young, were seen afterwards on several visits to the pond.
Plumages: The downy young, when first hatched is a large, fat, awkward, and helpless looking creature, covered with long coarse down, which on the upper parts is mixed with long hair-like filaments, longest and coarsest on the rump and thighs. The upper parts are “drab” or “hair brown,” deepening to “Prout’s brown” or “mummy brown ” on the crown and rump, with two whitish rump patches, one above each thigh; the brown of the head extends below the eyes to the lores and auriculars, a broad band of grayish white separating this from a poorly defined malar stripe of “drab “; the under parts are mostly grayish white, shading into the darker colors on the sides and into an indistinct collar of “drab” on the lower neck. The colors fade out paler with increasing age. The young bird is almost fully grown before the juvenal plumage is complete; it comes in first on the flanks, scapulars and head; the down is replaced last on the center of the belly, back, and rump. In this plumage the upper parts are dark brown, “clove brown ~ or “bone brown on the back and “blackish brown” on the crown; the feathers of the mantle are indistinctly barred, tipped, or sprinkled with fine dots of pale huffy shades; and the crown feathers are tipped with brownish buff. The flank feathers are more distinctly barred with dusky and grayish buff; the breast feathers are dusky, broadly tipped with buff and the rest of the plumage is more or less mottled with dusky, grayish, and huffy tints. There is no clear white on the side of the head which is mottled with dusky, the mottling forming a more or less distinct malar strip. The sexes are alike in this plumage, except that the female is decidedly smaller. This plumage is worn without much change until the spring molt begins. This molt is nearly complete, involving everything but the wings, and produces the decided seasonal change peculiar to this species.
Mr. A. J. van Rossem has sent me some notes on the molts and plumages of this unique duck, based on extensive studies, from which I quote as follows:
The juvenal plumage is retained until about January or February, when it is replaced (including the tail) by a plumage closely resembling that of the winter adults. The male, at least, about the middle or end of May then assumes a red plumage in general resembling tile midsummer adult, except that tile reds are darker and apt to be obscured by an admixture of darker (similar to the winter) feathers. With the taking on of this first red plumage, the tail is again melted. It is melted again in the fall, at the time of the transition into winter plumage. Thus two years are required to attain the brilliant red plumage of the fully adult male.
The ruddy duck is one of very few species which have a strictly nuptial plumage and two extensive molts. The prenuptial molt in April and May produces the well-known nuptial plumage of the male, involving practically all of the contour plumage and the tail, and characterized by the brownish black crown, the white cheeks, the sky-blue bill, and the “chestnut” back. The nuptial plumage of the female is not so striking; it is much like that of the first winter, hut the cheeks, chin, and throat become purer white.
There is no eclipse plumage. The summer molt, occurring from August to October, is complete, producing an adult winter plumage much like that of the first winter, except that the cheeks, chin, and throat are pure white, including the lores and nearly up to the eyes; the sexes are much alike in this plumage, but the male is decidedly larger, and many of the mottled feathers of the mantle and flanks are more or less washed with chestnut. Adults can always be distinguished from young birds by the white cheeks and throats.
Food: Being decidedly a diving duck, the ruddy duck obtains most of its food on the bottom and subsists very largely on a vegetable diet, hence its flesh is usually well flavored. While living on the inland ponds, marshes, and streams, it feeds on the seeds, roots, and stems of grasses and the bulbs and leaves of aquatic plants, such as flags, teal moss, wild rice, pond lilies. duckweed, and wild rye. Dr. F. Henry Yorke (1899) says it also eats small fishes, slugs, snails, mussels, larvae, fish spawn, worms, and creeping insects. Prof. W. B. Barrows (1912) “once took from the crop and stomach of a single ruddy duck, at Middletown, Connecticut, 22,000 seeds of a species of pondweed (Naias), which at that time was growing in great abundance in the city reservoir, where the bird was shot.” Dr. J. C. Phillips (1911) found in the stomachs of ruddy ducks, shot in Massachusetts, “seeds of bur reed, pondweed, bulrush, and Najas, and buds, etc., of wild celery,” also “chironomid and hydrophilid larvae.”
In the Currituck Sound region of North Carolina and Virginia I have found them feeding almost exclusively on the seeds of the foxtail grass. Nuttahl (1834) mentions ” seeds and husks of the huppia rnarihma,” which is apparently the same thing. Audubon (1840) says: ” When on salt marshes they eat small univalve shells, fiddlers, and young crabs, and on the seacoast they devour fry of various sorts. Along with their food they swallow great quantities of sand or gravel.”
Behavior: In its flight, swimming, and diving habits the ruddy duck more closely resembles the grebes than does any other American duck. Its small, rounded wings are hardly sufficient to raise its chunky little body off the water, except with the aid of its large, powerful feet, pattering along the surface for several yards. But, when well under way, it makes good progress in flight, though it flies usually close to the water and seldom rises to any great height in the air, even when migrating. It has a peculiar, uneven, jerky gait in flight by which it can be easily recognized at a long distance, and it usually flies in good-sized or large flocks. Audubon (1840) says:
They alight on the water more heavily than most others that are not equally flattened and short in the body, but they move on that element with ease and grace, swimming deeply immersed, and procuring their food altogether by diving, at which they are extremely expert. They are generally disposed to keep under the lee of shores on all occasions. When swimming without suspicion of danger they carry the tail elevated almost perpendicularly and float lightly on the water; but as soon as they are alarmed, they immediately sink deeper, in the manner of the anhinga, grebes, an(l cormorants, sometimes going out of sight without leaving a ripple on the water. On small ponds they often dive and conceal themselves among the grass along the shore, rather than attempt to escape by flying, to accomplish which with certainty they would require a large open space. I saw this very often when on the plantation of General Herriandez in east Florida. If wounded, they dived and hid in the grass, but, as the ponds there were shallow, and had the bottom rather firm, I often wailed out and pursued them. Then it was that I saw the curious manner in which they used their tail when swimming, employing it now as a rudder, and again with a vertical motion the wings being also slightly opened, and brought into action as well as the feet.
Walter H. Rich (1907) writes:
The wings are small in proportion to their chunky little bodies, and their flight at the outset is heavy and laboted, but once fairly going they fly fast, their wings making considerable noise from their rapid motion. With all these drawbacks the ruddy is wonderfully quick, either in the air or on the water. It is quite capable of taking care of himself once he gets it into his head that escape is intended. He can get under water with a celerity that falls little short of the marvelous. One of his tricks has always been a capability to sink. He will sink himself contentadly beneath the surface without diving, simply settles down like a sinking craft and beats a retreat under water, where he is as much at home as any duck of them all. I have seen black ducks, when they thought themselves undiscovered and their wit said it was dangerous to fly, sink themselves so that only the head showed above water, and have seen shell drakes settle down in the same style until only their heads were visible and so go darting and zigzagging away when they had flown in and settled among a bunch of decoys before discovering the cheat, but I have never seen any of these go completely below the surface without an attempt at diving as does the ruddy.
Audubon (1840) says: “Their notes are uttered in a rather low tone and very closely resemble those of the female mallard.” Rev. J. 11. Langille (1884) observes: “The ruddy duck is nearly noiseless, occasionally uttering a weak squeak.” Doctor Wetmore tells me that the female is entirely silent and that the only note heard rrm the male is the courtship call, ticc tick tic/city quo-acc.
Fall: On its migrations the ruddy duck follows the courses of the streams and the lakes, flying low and in large flocks, often close to water and below the level of the banks of the streams. The flights are made mainly early in the morning or during the dusk of evening, perhaps even during the night; they seem to appear suddenly in the ponds and small lakes and disappear as mysteriously; they are seldom seen coming or going. The flocks are made up largely of the dull-colored young birds, and even the old males have acquired their somber autumn dress. They are said to be unsuspicious and easily approached by gunners, but my experience has shown that they are well able to take care of themselves. When in a large flock on an open lake they are particularly difficult to approach, for they will fly long before the gunner can come within gunshot; I have chased them for hours in this way and seen them go spattering off close to the surface with a great whirring of little wings, only to drop into the water again at no great distance, without checking their speed, sliding along the surface and making the spray fly; only when cornered in some narrow bay and forced to fly past the boat do they give the gunner a chance for a shot. Even when suddenly surprised they can escape by diving in remarkably quick time and, swimming under the water for a long distance, come up at some unexpected place; often they seem to have vanished entirely until a careful search reveals one crawling out on a grassy bank to hide or skulking somewhere in the reeds. To chase a wounded bird is almost hopeless. When swimming under water the wings are closed and both feet work simultaneously. William G. Smith states in his notes that while hunting in a boat, where the water was clear, he has “often observed” a wounded ruddy duck “dive down, grasp a weed,” and “remain in this position for 20 minutes”; but he does not say whether the duck was alive or not at the end of this remarkable performance.
Game: Ruddy ducks resort in large numbers, late in the fall, to Back Bay, Virginia, where they are known as “boobies,” and furnish good sport for the numerous duck clubs located in that famous resort for sportsmen. Here they spend the winter in the broad expanse of shallow fresh and brackish water bays and estuaries, with the hosts of other wild fowl that frequent that favored region, growing fat and tender on the abundance of foxtail grass, wild celery, and other duck foods. Their feeding grounds are mainly in the shallower, more protected parts of the bays and near the shores, where they are most intimately associated with the American coots which gather there in immense rafts. Large flocks of these sprightly little ducks are frequently seen flying back and forth and they are popular with the sportsman, as they are lively on the wing, decoy readily under proper conditions, and are excellent table birds when fattened on clean vegetable food. They are usually shot from the batteries, such as are used for canvasbacks, but, as they are a little shy about coming to the large rafts of canvasback decoys that are used for the larger ducks, better results are obtained by “tying out” the battery with a smaller number of “booby” decoys. Under favorable circumstances it does not take long for a gunner to secure his legal limit of 35 ducks a day. Another method of shooting them, which is often very successful, is for a number of boats to surround a flock of birds or drive them into some small bay, where they are eventually forced to fly out past the boats, as they do not like to fly over the land.
Breeding range: Mainly in the sloughs and marshes of central and western North America. East to southern Manitoba (Shoal Lake), west central Minnesota (Becker County), southeastern Wisconsin (Lakes Koshkonong and Pewaukee), and southeastern Michigan (St. Clair Flats). South to northern Illinois (Lake and Putnam Counties), northern Iowa (Hancock County), south central Texas (Bexar County), northern New Mexico (Lak.e Burford), central Arizona (Mogollon Mountains), and northern Lower California (latitude 310 N.). West to southern and central California (San Diego, Los Angeles, Monterey, and Siskiyou Counties), central Oregon (Klamath and Malheur Lakes), northwestern Washington (Seattle and Tacoma), and central British Columbia (Cariboo District). North throughout much of Alberta (Buffalo Lake and Belvedere), probably to Great Slave Lake (Fort Resolution) and to northern Manitoba (York factory).
Outlying, and probably casual, breeding stations have been recorded as far east as Ungava (Richmond Gulf), southeastern Maine (Washington County), eastern Massachusetts (Cape Cod), southern Rhode Island (Seaconnet Point), and central New York (Seneca River). Extreme southern breeding colonies have been found in southern Lower California (Santiago), the Valley of Mexico, at the Lake of Duenas, Guatemala, and in the West Indies (Cuba, Porto Rico, the Grenadines, Carriacou, etc.), many of which are probably permanent colonies.
Winter range: The northern portions of the breeding range are vacated in winter. It winters abundantly on the Atlantic coast as far north as Chesapeake Bay and more rarely north to Long Island and Massachusetts; south to Florida, the Bahamas, and the West Indies (Cuba, Porto Rico, Jamaica, Martinique, Grenada, Barbados, etc.). On the Pacific coast, from southern British Columbia (Boundary Bay) southward to Lower California, Guatemala, and Costa Rica (Irazu). In the interior north to central Arizona (Pecks Lake), southern Illinois, and western Pennsylvania (Erie).
Spring migration: Early dates of arrival: Massachusetts, March 20; Utah, Bear River, March 30; Minnesota, Heron Lake, April 3; Ohio, Oberlin, April 7; Manitoba, southern, April 26; Alberta, Edmonton, May 1. Average dates of arrival: Pennsylvania, Erie, April 16; Ohio, Oberlin, April 15; Nebraska, April 7; Minnesota, Heron Lake, April 10; Wyoming, Cheyenne, April 21; Manitoba, southern, May 5.
Late dates of departure: Kentucky, Bowling Green, April 18; Lower California, Colnet., April 8.
Fall migration: Early dates of arrival: Virginia, Potomac River, August 20 (average September 30); Massachusetts, Pembroke, September 5; West Indies, Barbados, September 13.
Casual records: Accidental in Bermuda (November 24, 1846) and Alaska (Kupreanof Island, August 15; 1916). Rare straggler in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Egg dates: California: Thirty records, April 26 to August 11; fifteen records, May 22 to June 10. North Dakota: Twelve records, June 8 to July 19; six records, June 13 to July 9. Colorado: Nine records, May 31 to August 6. Porto Rico: December to March.