Despite the name, the brownish ring on it's neck is rarely visible in the field.
The more obvious field mark is the unique bill coloring, showing a dark black
tip, and obvious white stripes on either side of a bluish-gray base color. Ring-necked Ducks are a diving duck that migrate through the state, summering only in the northeastern part of the
state. As with most ducks, male and female plumage is dramatically
different (see photo of male and female to the right).
Habitat: Lakes, ponds, sloughs, and marshes
Diet: Primarily aquatic plants. Also aquatic
insects, crustaceans, and mollusks.
Behavior: Diving duck,
normally feeding by diving in relatively shallow water, although they will
also occasionally feed similarly to dabbling ducks. Female ducks will
stay with fledglings an unusually long time compared to most ducks.
Nesting: June and July nester. The nest of a
Ring-necked Duck is vegetation lined with down, placed near the water's edge
amidst cover vegetation. The female lays between 6-13 eggs, and she alone
incubates them. The eggs hatch after about 4 weeks.
Migration: Summers through Canada, the upper
Midwest and Plains, and New England. Winters in the Southern U.S.,
along the coasts, and in Mexico.
Similar Species: Lesser Scaup, Greater Scaup.
These species share somewhat similar overall plumage patterns, with light flanks
and dark breasts and head. The obvious bill pattern on the Ring-necked Duck
makes it easily distinguishable from those species if seen well.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Ring-necked Duck"
Photo Information: April 5th, 2008 - Dewey
Gevik Nature Area near Sioux Falls - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Ring-necked Duck photos.