Ring-necked Duck

April 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I was having some fun trying to capture an image of this Ring-necked Duck as it popped up to the surface after diving underwater to feed. I simply watched the bubbles coming up to the surface so I could track the position of the duck as it maneuvered under the surface. A few failed attempts before I succeeded, but I managed to catch a few images. This one was the best.

A resident of fresh water ponds and lakes, the RIng-necked Duck is a fairly common medium sized diving duck. A more descriptive and suitable name might ahve been Ring-billed Duck as the bold white band on the bill tip is easy to see verses the thin chesnut ring around the base of it's neck can be somewhat difficult to observe. The tall pointed head is quite distinctive, peaking at the rear of the crown. When it sits on the water, this bird typically holds it's head high.

Cool Facts (credit: allaboutbirds.org)

  • This bird’s common name (and its scientific name "collaris," too) refer to the Ring-necked Duck's hard-to-see chestnut collar on its black neck. It’s not a good field mark to use for identifying the bird, but it jumped out to the nineteenth century biologists that described the species using dead specimens.
  • During fall migration, Ring-necked Ducks can form immense flocks. Several hundred thousand congregate each fall on certain lakes in Minnesota to feed on wild rice.
  • Ring-necked Ducks on their breeding grounds occasionally get attacked by the much larger Common Loon, the Red-necked Grebe, and even the much smaller Pied-billed Grebe.
  • The oldest known Ring-necked Duck was a male, and at least 20 years, 5 months old. He was banded in Louisiana in 1964.

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