I’ve been trying to get shots of a male Ruddy Duck in breeding colors for several years now, and, despite the clouds, I had every chance to do that while in Malheur. I must have spent an hour watching several male Ruddy Ducks courting the ladies. I’m still not sure exactly what the courting ritual consists of, but raised tail feathers seemed like one sure sign, as well as this charging habit, which I observed repeatedly, though I’m still not sure if it was meant to impress the female or intimidate other males. If standing up didn’t win the lady, males seemed perfectly willing to throw themselves at their mercy. After all that, the little guy can probably be forgiven if he appears a little cocky after he wins the lady’s attention.