Ring-necked Duck

The Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) is a medium-sized diving duck that breeds in northern North America. This species gets its name from the faint chestnut-colored collar around its neck, which is only visible at close range and during breeding season.

Basic Description

The male Ring-necked Duck has a glossy black head, back, and tail with white sides and a grayish belly. Its bill is bluish-gray with a black tip while its eyes are yellow. The female has brownish-gray plumage all over her body except for her whitish chin and belly. She also has an orange-brown eye ring instead of the male’s yellow eyes.

Where To Find This Bird

During breeding season, Ring-necked Ducks can be found in freshwater lakes across Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and the northern United States. They migrate south to winter in wetlands throughout the rest of the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and even parts of South America.


Ring-necked Ducks prefer deep-water marshes surrounded by trees or shrubs for nesting purposes but will also take advantage of artificial structures such as nest boxes or platforms if available.


Their diet consists mainly of aquatic plants such as pondweeds and wild celery along with some insects during breeding season. During migration and wintering periods when their primary food sources become scarce they will eat crustaceans like crayfish or small fish to supplement their diet.

Cool Facts

– While it may seem like this bird’s name refers to its neck banding markings , it actually comes from another distinguishing feature: a faint ring-shaped patch on its bill.
– The female Ring-necked Duck takes care of most parental duties including incubating eggs and caring for ducklings alone.
– Like many diving ducks, the Ring-necked Duck can remain underwater for up to 30 seconds while searching for food. They have been known to dive as deep as 60 feet!
– During migration, they often form large flocks and are known to mix with other diving duck species such as scaups and goldeneyes.

In conclusion, the Ring-necked Duck is a fascinating bird that has unique physical features, migratory patterns and dietary habits. Keep an eye out for this majestic creature on your next trip into nature!