Among the new arrivals over the extended Thanksgiving weekend was this small flock of Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis). They breed in the northern Midwest and central Canada.
They’re easily spotted when they raise up their tails, but they don’t always do that. In the video above, taken on consecutive days, the birds kept their tails down while paddling in windy conditions, but tails up the next day while sleeping in calm water, with their heads tucked into their wings. The tail acts as a sail and if you’re paddling into a wind you want it down.
For more about the Ruddies, here are the basic links: