RING-NECKED DUCK


Aythya collaris


Description:

This is a small and compact diving duck whose name is somewhat confusing. The chestnut colored neck ring from which the bird derives its name is difficult to see. At first glance, these birds look similiar to Scaups. This bird feeds on aquatic plant seeds, snails, clams, and insects.


Appearance:

General: 12 to 18 inches in length.

Male: Purple head and neck. Chestnut ring around neck (not obvious). Pointed crown. Black breast. Gray flanks and whitish belly. Dark back and tail. Yellow eye. Blue bill with white border at base and white ring just before black tip.

Female: Dark brown body and pointed crown. Dark back. Pale gray-brown face. Brown eye with white eye ring. Whitish lores. Dark blue-gray bill with white ring just before black tip.


Habitat:

Woodland lakes, ponds, and rivers.


Nesting:

8-12 buff or olive colored eggs with a 25-29 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 49-56 days after hatching. The nest is a down lined bowl. The nest is built in the vegetation on the edge of a pond or in an open marsh. The female chooses the nest site and builds the nest.


Observed Locations:

  • Wild Animal Park, Escondido
  • Pond behind Anthony's Fish Grotto, La Mesa





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