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Ring-Necked Duck

Aythya collaris

Most diving ducks prefer larger water bodies with deep water, but the Ring-Necked Duck will settle on relatively small and shallow ponds during migration and on the breeding grounds. In winter, they often gather in large flocks.

Ring-Necked Ducks breed in Alaska and across central and southern Canada. In the Lower Forty-Eight states of the USA they breed in places such as western Montana, eastern North Dakota, the Great Lakes Region and in Maine. Anywhere to the south of Colorado and Kansas and all the way into Mexico might host these ducks in winter. Winter homes for these ducks also include the Atlantic coastal zone from New England to Florida, and the Bahamas and northern Caribbean Islands.

I think the Ring-Necked Duck would be better named the “Ring-Billed Duck”. The ring on its neck is nearly impossible to see without the bird in hand, whereas the ring on the bill is rather obvious. To date, all my encounters with these ducks have been on their winter grounds in southern California, Arizona, southern Nevada, and central New Mexico.

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