One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A diving duck with a stiff tail of pointed feathers, often held up at an angle.
Family Anatidae: four genera, in particular Oxyura, and several species, e.g. the ruddy duck
- ‘A couple of years ago, a pair of ruddy duck arrived: small, sexually aggressive stifftail ducks with bright blue bills.’
- ‘This singular characteristic has set them apart in their own group, called stiff-tailed ducks.’
- ‘The Blue-billed Duck is one of only two Australian species of stiff-tailed ducks - diving ducks with spine-like tail-feathers.’
- ‘This has resulted in the protection of the majority of Spanish wetlands used by White-headed Ducks, the banning of hunting, and prohibitions on the import and keeping of stifftails in captivity.’
- ‘Modern authors accept that we are dealing with two species of stifftail in Europe.’
- ‘Some of his books are technical surveys of groups such as owls, hummingbirds, and stifftail ducks.’
- ‘Musk Ducks are highly aquatic, stiff-tailed ducks native to southern Australia.’
- ‘Members of the stiff-tailed ducks, represented in North America by the Ruddy Duck, have flat, paddle-shaped tails that the birds typically hold erect when resting on the water, giving them a very distinctive look.’
- ‘This gallery will take you to the world of diving ducks, mergansers and stiff-tailed ducks (the Ruddy duck).’
- ‘The Masked Duck is the other stiff-tailed duck and it inhabits warmer areas of the country such as southern Florida and Texas.’
- ‘Although stifftails, pochards, and sea ducks all dive for food, there are as many differences among them as similarities.’
- ‘The white-headed duck is the only stifftail to occur naturally in Europe, with a patchy distribution running from the western Mediterranean through to Central and East Asia.’
- ‘They're closely related to the stifftails (ruddy ducks, white-headed ducks and others), all of which are characterised by the sparsely-feathered fan-shaped tail that's either laid flat on the water's surface or held vertically on display.’
- ‘Either way they may potentially breed with Ruddy Ducks in the UK (as they are the main stifftails they will meet).’
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