Audubon Field Guide describes this duck as "An odd little diver, the main North American representative of the group of stiff-tailed ducks, with spiky tail feathers that are often cocked up in the air." They rarely associate with other ducks, except they'll sometimes hang with the American Coots. They are not adept at flying and are mostly helpless on land.
We have a few pairs visiting Capitol Lakes for the winter, always floating in the same area. I've been trying to photograph one of the males all week. Today one finally came close enough to get a decent shot and was gracious enough to put on a show. This guy is in the beginning stages of his summer colors as demonstrated by the blue bill, though it gets much brighter and vivid later in the year—by then he'll be far away from us.