Tuesday, 6 December 2011

White-headed Duck........... and the demise of the Ruddy Duck in the UK

White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala).
The images of the White-headed Ducks were taken a couple of weeks ago at Martin Mere.
They are captive birds and part of a conservation programme.

Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis).
The Ruddy Duck images were taken in 2009 on Haydn's Pool.
 Wild birds... but their days were numbered as a cull to rid them from the UK had started in 2008.

The Ruddy Duck was an introduced bird to Britain (originally from America) and as a result of escapes from wildlife collections in the 1940's they became established in the UK.
Because of the Ruddy Ducks aggresive courting behaviour and a willingness to interbreed with the endangered White-headed Duck of Southern Europe it has led to a cull to extirpate the bird from these shores at a cost to the UK taxpayer of £4.6 million.

White-headed Duck.

I have read that while we have been killing these beautiful and comical little birds the French (whose Ruddy Duck population are more likely to be mating with the Spanish birds than ours) aren't doing anything about their Ruddy Duck population.
While the White- headed Duck is quite a cute bird to see...
I really miss seeing the Ruddy Ducks on my patch.
I watched this funny little bird drumming his lovely blue beak on his chest during 2009 but have never seen one since. 
It was confirmed in March that well over 4500 birds had been destroyed and that only around 120 remain. A lovely watchable little bird and personally I think the whole exercise has been a total waste of our hard earned cash.
To see more wonderful birds click on the image below to visit.
World Bird Wednesday LV

CLICK THIS PICTURE!

39 comments:

Rambling Woods said...

We do that here with canada geese at a lot of expense...non-natives are a problem everywhere..one that we humans make...

TexWisGirl said...

guess america was paying you back for our starling overpopulation (kidding!)

these are both very interesting and amusing looking ducks.

ADRIAN said...

It all seems a bit strange, not to mention futile in the long term.

Pat said...

Lovely captures! It's amazing to me what governments will lavish money on and ignore areas of greater need.

Chatty Crone said...

They both look beautiful here and great pics. I don't agree with killing them though!

sandie♥

Bob Bushell said...

Yes, they are comical after all. Poor old Ruddy Duck.

mick said...

Great photos. The ducks are beautiful. That cull certainly cost a lot of money!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Well, I'll be thinking about that for awhile Andrew. What a conundrum.

Gary said...

I always worry when man starts to interfer with nature, because it usually goes wrong. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Arija said...

From some angles your white-headed duck has the head shape of a puffin. I too think these massive bird culls are a bit ridiculous. Like the slaughter of our wild, disease free camels. If animals need to be 'managed' in this way, at least they should be harvested for food.

eileeninmd said...

Awww, the poor Ruddy Ducks. Maybe we could send you some of our house sparrows and you could send some of your Ruddy duck back over here. Your photos are wonderful I love the white head duck.

NatureFootstep said...

can´t help but wonder what the chicks look like. White-headed Duck makes you wonder why they look like they do. Great shots.

Adam Tilt said...

It's a true scandal Andrew. Like you say it's highly unlikely that our Ruddy Duck population was ever an issue and all the cull has achieved is a big bill and the loss of a great looking bird.

Sondra said...

I learned long ago two wrongs dont make a right..I feel bad for the poor ducks...lovely photos Andrew

Michelle My Bell said...

I agree with pat. There ARE more things I could think of on how to spend that money- wow! That blue beack wure caught my eye, beautiful Andrew :)

carmen said...

Gracias por visitarme y su comentario sus fotos son increiblemente bellas,me encantan.

Kathiesbirds said...

What a sad story this is, especially if it is possible that the birds would have eventually migrated there themselves! We humans are so guilty of changing our environment on one hand and then trying to keep it all the same on the other. It's rather contradictory, don't you think? I do not know what the best answer to this is, but it is sad to hear of their demise.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - I assume most of the money was spent on a duck proof fence to keep out the French ducks.
Use to enjoy watching then on Chew Valley Lake.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Marias Teater said...

Lovely ducks, Andrew. Very exotic to me!We have our ducks in snow from yesterday night, I am so sorry!

Nature Rambles said...

Although I've heard of Ruddy ducks, this is the first time I've seen them. I'm fascinated by the blue beaks! The white-headed ducks are beautiful. I hope to be able to take some duck pictures in the future. It'll be interesting to see what kind of ducks are seen in my area.

Thank you for following.:-))

The Glebe Blog said...

Possums in New Zealand decimated half the bird species after being introduced from Australia.
A pest in NZ (they have 30 million ) but protected in Australia.Does that make sense ?
Humans have been interfering with nature for hundreds of years.I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't us that got rid of the Dinosaurs! ha ha
Nic pictures Andrew

heyBJK said...

The bill on the White-headed duck looks like something from a dinosaur! Very cool! I've never seen one before. Nice shots, Andrew!

Springman said...

Once the wine is spilled, there's no getting it back in the bottle. We in the Great Lakes area have endured many a infestation. I've got to say though Andrew your White-headed Duck is a beauty, it would be a shame to see that majestic bill compromised!

Hilke Breder said...

Although Ruddy Ducks are native to our region I have yet to see one outside of a zoo. It seems a waste of money, particularly in view of the recent austerity measures, and truly futile to exterminate these birds to protect a Spanish species, especially since the effort is not supported by other European nations. And you know that they will come back anyway. The males are so well endowed. Just read this in the Guardian: After escaping from Scott's Gloucestershire sanctuary, the species soon gained an unfortunate reputation: its mating call sounds more like a belch, it boasts a penis half the length of its body and, after mating, it ignores its partner :-) Sad story! Great pix though, Andrew!

The Herald said...

Andrew, we humans seem to sometimes come up with cockeyed solutions to over perceived problems, when maybe it's best just left alone!

I have, however, been lucky enough to see a Ruddy Duck, albeit at a distance, before they all 'disappeared' !

Great images btw...[;o)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh Andrew, that's a sad story; I am surprised there wasn't a huge outcry about "getting rid" of these amusing ducks. Invasive or non-native species can be a problem though. Aggressive courtshp is pretty much a given with every duck I've ever heard about.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Love the Ruddy Duck's blue bill. Beautiful!

holdingmoments said...

I'm totally against this futile cull Andrew. I doubt it is the birds from this country flying all the way to Spain, and causing problems.
Our local bird groups have stopped reporting sightings of Ruddy Ducks. It appeared DEFRA were reading them, to find out where the ducks were, so they could go and murder them.

An excellent post, highlighting mankind's continued disastrous interference with nature.

JM said...

What a strange beak! Great captures, Andrew.

BlueShell said...

Hi, Drew!
(may I call you Drew?)

I really appreciate your visits!Thank you for reading my poem.
You always have wonderful pictures here for us to see! Thank you for that too!

Have a good night, Ok?
and have a big Portuguese hug!
BlueShell

missing moments said...

What interesting and cute little ducks. Poor Ruddy Duck though ... what a waste of money!

Denise said...

What a very sad state of affairs.

Nicole said...

We humans are past stupid. First we get them where they don't belong, then we kill them.
I just wondered while watching a nature documentary yesterday, what on earth we still do here. We serve no purpose at all :(

Besides that, gorgeous birds, both and sad that the Ruddy ducky is gone :(

Liz said...

Brilliant images of a very cute duck!
Very sad about the culling.

Magia da Inês said...

º°♥❤ Olá, amigo!
❤ Em todo os lugares do mundo há desequilíbrio ecológico.
º°❤ Beijinhos.
♥❤ Brasil

VENTANA DE FOTO said...

They're beautiful birds.

It is convenient to do everything possible to conserve the species.

http://ventanadefoto.blogspot.com/

Bitch said...

What a shame..
I cannot understand the humankind..

Andy Wilson (AndysLens) said...

Good read about this duck.

Anonymous said...

Whenever you feel stuck with your article writing and are facing the typical writer's block, you should go with the 'brain dumping' method where you write as fast as possible without thinking twice. Essentially, you just have to write as fast as possible, breaking through that inner wall that keeps you from transcribing what you need to. You don't really have to care about the spellings, grammar or even if the content you're creating is making sense. The article's topic, once you begin writing, will unfold by itself. Your only purpose is to write down everything that comes to mind, and you will probably be shocked by how much content you actually get. Once you have everything written down, just restructure and proofread the article before you use it.


NFL Jerseys



If you want to be a speed article writing, then make the decision about it and set about to work making it a reality.


NFL Authentic Jerseys