Ring-necked Duck: Medium-sized diving duck. Black upperparts, weakly tufted, purple-black head. Neck, upper breast, tail are black, lower breast and belly are white, sides are pale gray. Cinnamon collar is hard to see in the field. Dark wings have black-tipped gray flight feathers visible in flight. Blue-gray bill, white ring, black tip.
Range and Habitat
Ring-necked Duck: Breeds from Alaska, Manitoba, and Newfoundland south to California, Arizona, the Great Lakes, and Maine. Spends winters from Washington south along the Pacific coast, east through the southwest and the Gulf Coast states and north to New England. Found on wooded lakes, ponds, and rivers; seldom seen on saltwater except in the southern states.
The Ring-necked Duck was first described in 1809 by Edward Donovan, an Anglo Irish writer and amateur zoologist.
Because it never gathers in large flocks it has not been hunted extensively like some of its relatives. A fast flier, it undertakes longer migrations than most other diving ducks.
This species might better be called the "Ring-billed Duck," for its chestnut neck ring is usually seen only at close range, while the white ring on the bill can be a prominent field mark.
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.