Ruddy ducks can be
identified by their stiff, upright tails, which have earned them the
name "stifftails". When the tail is relaxed, the unique facial
markings are the best giveaway. Ruddy duck populations on Furman Lake
fluctuate from year to year. Some years see only a few brief visits, while
others support a stable winter population. In 2009, a raft of about 7
individuals stayed until the first week of April. The picture at left
shows three males and one female (female at right).