Ring-necked Ducks are small to medium sized diving ducks. The adult male is similar in color pattern to the Eurasian Tufted Duck, its relative. Males are a little bit bigger than the female. It has two white rings surrounding its gray bill, a shiny black angular head, black back, white line on the wings, a white breast and yellow eyes. The adult female has a grayish brown angular head and body with a dark brown back, a dark bill with a more subtle light band than the male, grayish-blue feet and brown eyes with white rings surrounding them. Females also make a noise like trrr. The cinnamon neck ring is usually difficult to observe, which is why the bird is sometimes referred to as a "ringbill".
Breeding and migration
Their breeding habitat is wooded lakes or ponds in the northern United States and Canada. The main breeding area is Northwest boreal forest territories. Their breeding habits also take place in the eastern boreal region of Canada but no where near the same amount in the northwestern region. Winter months they are usually found in southern North America in lakes, ponds, rivers or bays. Ring-necked Duck pairs start during spring migration. Unpaired ducks showing up on breeding grounds will most likely end up being non-breeders. The pairs stay together only for reproduction, until then, they separate. The nest is bowl-shaped, built on water in dense emergent vegetation with sedges and woody plants. The female lays one egg per day until 8 to 10 eggs are laid. They are incubated 25–29 days and the female may remain with the young until they are able to fly.
These birds are omnivores and feed mainly by diving or dabbling at the surface. Ducklings are dependent on animal matter such as insects earth worms, leeches, midges and snails. As they mature they tend change their diet to vegetation like submerged and emergent plants. Submerged plants include pondweed, seeds and coontail. Emergent plants like annual wild rice.
This strong migrant is a rare but regular vagrant to western Europe. In Britain, occasional small flocks occur, including five at Loch Leven[disambiguation needed], Scotland in September 2003. In Ireland one or two individuals can be seen at any time of year. Vagrant individuals also occur each year in Central America as far south as Costa Rica between October/November and May/June.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Aythya collaris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Bellrose, F. C., Hohman, W. L., Eberhardt, R. T., & Johnsgard, P. A. (n.d.). Duck Species Profile - Ring-necked Duck. Retrieved from http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/research/bios/ringnecked/index.php
- National Wildlife Federation, eNature with support from Ducks Unlimited, & The Pew Charitable Trusts. (2007). Boreal Songbird Initiative: Ring-necked Duck. Retrieved from Boreal Songbird Initiative website: http://www.borealbirds.org/birdguide/bd0402_species.shtml
- Ring-necked Duck Facts, Figures, Description and Photo. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ducks Unlimited website: http://www.ducks.org/hunting/waterfowl-id/ring-necked-duck
- Parkin, David T; Knox, Alan G (2010). The Status of Birds in Britain and Ireland. London: Christopher Helm. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-4081-2500-7.
- Herrera, Néstor; Rivera, Roberto; Ibarra Portillo, Ricardo; Rodríguez, Wilfredo (December 2006). "Nuevos registros para la avifauna de El Salvador". Boletín de la Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitología (Medellín, Colombia) 16 (2): 1–19. ISSN 0123-9082.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ring-necked Duck.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Aythya collaris|
- Ring-necked Duck Species Account – Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Ring-necked Duck - Aythya collaris - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
- Ring-necked Duck at eNature.com
- Ring-necked Duck at Mass Audubon Breeding Bird Atlas
- Ring-necked Duck videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
- Ring-necked Duck photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)