RING-NECKED DUCK – (Aythia collaris)
The Ring-necked duck has a neck ring (hence the Latin word ‘collaris’ which means ‘neck’) but it is hard to see, as it is reddish-brown on a background of black for the head, back and breast in the drake (it is visible on some of the photos below when they are enlarged).
The bird sides are grey and the under parts white. The bill in the drake is black with one white ring near the base and another one near the tip. Females have a dark brown head top and back and lighter brown sides, and a dark bill with a faint white ring near the tip. The forehead of this duck is rather flat. It is similar in color pattern to the Greater and Smaller scaups. The ring-necked duck is around 45 cm (17 in.) long.
The ring-necked duck is a diving duck of fresh water habitats. It is frequently seen on beaver ponds and other wooded lakes. It feeds on invertebrates and aquatic plants.
The ring-necked duck breeds in PEI, as well as in the mid-latitudes of Canada. It is very common on the island, except in the winter. Its wintering range is mainly in the southern USA and Mexico. These ducks form very large flocks during migration, and will be found feeding on wild rice in Lake of the Woods in Ontario and in Minnesota.