Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday's Foto

The Ring-necked Duck is a medium-sized, boldly marked black, white and gray diving duck. Despite its common name, the iridescent, chestnut ring around the male's neck is rarely visible in the field and was named by nineteenth century biologists describing dead specimens in the hand. Hens are mostly brown with a peaked head, white eyering, a white ring near the tip of the bill and pale, whitish plumage at the base of the bill.

Breeding in wooded lakes or ponds, their range is from southeastern and east-central Alaska, central British Columbia eastward through northern Saskatchewan to Newfoundland, and south to northeastern California, southeastern Arizona, southern Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, northern New York and Massachusetts. An estimated 67% of their North American population breeds within Canada's boreal forest. This mostly vegetarian specie's diet consists of seeds, stems, and roots of many aquatic plants. They eat a smaller percentage of insects and mollusks.

Ring-necked Ducks migrate to inland wintering grounds along the Gulf of Mexico and the southern Atlantic coast of the United States. Some winter as far south as Central America and the northern Caribbean.

The Ring-necked Duck’s conservation status according to the IUCN Red List is “Least Concern”. Since the 1930s, it has become a much more widespread and numerous breeding bird in eastern Canada and northern New England.

Its scientific name, Aythya collaris, means Gr. aithuia unidentified seabird mentioned by Aristotle, Hesychius, and other authors; neck-chain.

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