Sunday, April 4, 2021

Ring-Necked Duck

The ring-necked duck is a duck I'd never heard of before, probably because it does not have much of a presence around the Great Salt Lake in Utah or Southern California where I've lived most of my life. I saw them for the first time on the Concho River in San Angelo, Central Texas, and fell in love with them. They are beautiful birds. 
They breed in the far north, mostly Canada, but a little bit into the northern U.S. There are just a very few places with a year-round presence in the U.S., including a pretty good swathe of Colorado, a small portion of central Arizona, a chunk of eastern Idaho and western Wyoming and a large portion of Oregon and of Washington. They like fresh water lakes, ponds and rivers and mainly breed in boreal forests. 

Describing the male, which is what I saw: the cinnamon ring-neck, which gives it its name, is difficult to see. 
So it is sometimes called the ring-bill which is much easier to see. It has a very distinctive gray bill with a black tip, a white ring next to it and a white rim between the bill and the face feathers. 
It has a black head, which appeared purple in the right light.  

It has a black back, a white line on its wings, a white breast and yellow eyes (which look orange in my photos). 

1 comment:

  1. The shape of the head is really weird and the little poof of feathers is like a 50s hair cut. The contrasting feathers are very dramatic, and that eye--that eye is just wicked. Very interesting bird.