Bird of the Week – Ring-necked Duck


Sometimes WC thinks that birds are deliberately named in a way to confuse birders. This is one of the reasons.

Ring-necked Drake and Hen, Peat Ponds, Fairbanks

Ring-necked Drake and Hen, Peat Ponds, Fairbanks

WC means, what the heck? Yes, there is an extremely faint, rarely visible ring around the bird’s neck. But thre’s a blinding white, extremely obvious white ring around the bill. Why not Ring-Billed Duck? Sigh.

This is an uncommon duck in Interior Alaska; the range maps doesn’t even show the species in the state. But it is, and they do breed there. Despite appearances, this is a diving duck, not a dabbler like a Mallard. The gold eye, double white stripe on the bill and white and gray flank make this an unmistakeable species in the field.

The foraging habit of this species makes it especially vulnerable to toxic lead shot. Lead shot has been banned, but in common duck hunting areas there are very high amounts of lead shot in the environment.

Camera geek stuff: f5.7, 1/250, ISO250.

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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One thought on “Bird of the Week – Ring-necked Duck

  1. Reminds me of the Greater White-Fronted Goose. I think the powers that be just weren’t comfortable calling it the Greater White-Butted Goose.

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