Ring-necked Duck - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Ring-necked Duck - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Ring-necked Duck - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Ring-necked Duck - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Ring-necked Duck
Aythya collaris

Diving Ducks
Waterfowl Family (Anatidae)

Size: Length: 30 cm Wingspan: 71 cm

Description: The ring-necked duck is a common diving duck. The drakes have a dark purplish head. The blue-gray beak has a black tip, with a white patch directly behind it. The base of the bill is also lined with white. The breast is iridescent green . The back is dark-greenish and the sides are gray, with a white patch near the base of the wing. When swimming the white speculum is not visible.

Hens are drab, but have a similar bill to the drakes. Their blue-gray bill has a black tip with a white patch right behind it. The base of the beak and cheek are also outlined in white. There is also a white eye-ring with a white line extending behind the eye.

Similar Species: The lesser and greater scaup can be mistaken for ring-necked ducks, but they lack the white on the bill as seen in the ring-necked duck. They also have more white on the wing, with the white of the speculum extending towards the wing tips.

Range: While ring-necked ducks migrate through the southern American Rockies, they are a northern nester, commonly seen on ponds through the Canadian and northern US Rockies.

Habitat: Wetlands. While they are a diving duck, ring-necked ducks still prefer shallow marshes and ponds.

Diet: They dive for aquatic seeds, tubers and pond weeds. They also feed upon aquatic invertebrates.

Nesting: Like most waterfowl, they nest on the ground, often in quite wet locales. The nest is a hollow lined with grass and down. The hen lays 6-12 pale olive to greenish eggs. Incubation lasts 26 days after which the precocial chicks will quickly leave the nest.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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