Spring[ edit ] Redheads leave their winter range in late January and February with all birds migrating by mid-March. In central North America, migrants arrive as soon as temperatures open wetlands and lakes, which can range from late February Nebraska to early May Alberta, Manitoba and Iowa. In the Great Lakes region and north-eastern North America, migrants will also arrive as soon as bodies of water open up. In British Columbia, fall migration begins in September and continues through October. Most redheads winter along the Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana, Florida and Mexico however eastern populations will winter in South Carolina.
Maps General Description Female and juvenile Redheads are brownish-gray overall, with gray legs, black eyes and a gray bill with a black tip. Males in breeding plumage have a gray body, black rump and breast, and a bright rufous head with a yellow eye and a light blue bill with a black tip. The male in non-breeding plumage from July to September is overall dark brown, but still has a dull reddish head. Redheads are a little smaller than the similar looking Canvasbacks, with a rounder head, a lighter back, and a more typically duck-shaped bill.
Your browser does not support the audio element. About the Redhead Breeding Redheads breed in the northern prairies of the United States and Canada and the intermountain marshes of the west. They prefer non-forested environments with water areas sufficiently deep to provide permanent and fairly dense emergent vegetation for nesting. Of the diving ducks, redheads are the most common breeders in the United States.
Waterfowl can be fun for beginning birders because they are relatively easy to watch, not flitting through the trees or into the bushes like little dicky birds. They have very distinctive plumages with large patches of color in bold patterns that make identification relatively easy. True, the female dabblers all look pretty much alike, but the males are distinctive. How can you figure out what it is?