Redhead Decoys

Welcome to the Redhead decoy page.
Redheads are among my favorite ducks.
I have had the opportunity in my youth to really get into them on Houghton Lake MI. Since that time I often reflect on the picture in my mind of the beautifully colored drake that swam through my decoys after we were limited out.
A middle of the prairie nester with some smaller areas of nesting concentration in ID, UT they are fairly widespread along coastlines. Some migrate through the Pacific flyway into the Imperial Valley and San Francisco bay area. Approximate 1/3 migrate through the Mississippi flyway to the Gulf coast with TX having the largest destination advantage. The Atlantic coast and Chesapeake area have wonderful numbers also. It does appear however that on any given year birds will move destinations somewhat.
Ground nesting is frequently within 4 feet of deep water. Parasitic nesting occurs with hens laying in other hen nests and even other species. One study showed in Utah that 70% of mallard nests had redhead eggs and 79% of Cinnamon teal nest also had redhead eggs. The drake comprises 60 to 64% of the breeding population and abandons the hen after nesting occurs. Incubation is from 24 to 28 days and the young are flying about 70 to 84 days after hatching.
Redheads seem to be their own worst enemy with unusually high percentages of unhatched eggs and nest abandonment. Only 10% or so renest after failure. These are the main reasons for restrictive bag limits and possibly shortened or skipped seasons.
I have derived my information from Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America, which is a wonderful book by Frank Bellrose that I highly recommend for every waterfowlers library

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