These ducks are easily identified by the white ring and black tip around their beak. Ring-Necked Ducks are also recognized by their slightly lighter in color, ring around their neck (hence the name “Ring-Necked Duck”) that isn’t always visible when they are swimming. The birds are medium-sized with a length of about 15-18 inches. Unlike most raptors, male Ring-Necked Ducks are a little larger than the females.
Ring-Necked Ducks live mostly in the Southern and Southwestern part of North America. They breed in freshwater ponds, bogs and streams around lots of the western forests. These ducks nest in small, wooded ponds, usually in the midst of forests.
The duck feed by diving into water but they usually hang out in more shallow bodies of water which are harder to dive in. Ring-Necked Ducks are very agile and, unlike many diving ducks, they can fly directly from the water without a running start.
Nesting and Nestlings:
Ring-necked Ducks pick nest on mound of dirt nearby water or on floating vegetation. Females alone build the nest which is a shallow cup of down and plants. Small ramps are made to help the young out of the nest.
The nest is still being build even once the eggs are laid, (which are usually about 8-10). The eggs are white, sometimes with a couple small brown splotches. The eggs are incubated for usually a little less than a month (25-29 days). Only about a day after hatching, the young are taken out to the water to try to have their first swim.
These ducks, like most ducks eat aquatic plants and invertebrates. They eat a variety of uncommon plants like roots, tubers of pondweed, hydrilla, wild celery, water lilies, coontail, millet, and sedges.
Though they are a bit uncommon, they are under the Least Concern category which means that they aren’t threatened, in fact, their population has increased lately.