ARTISTS AND BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis
"A Must See"
Last year there was one lone Ring-necked Duck on the Tonaquint Pond. He stayed for a long time and then he left. This year there are several male and female Ring-necked Ducks. I’m thinking he must have told others what a great place this was to spend the winter, and then brought a group back with him. Take a trip to the Tonaquint Pond to witness for yourself this beautiful duck species before it leaves for points north. This is a ‘must see’.
The Ring-necked Duck does have a ringed neck, but the ring is almost never visible. The ‘ring-neck’ name comes from a faint brownish ring around the base of the neck. The name ‘ring-bills’ would fit better as the duck’s slate color bill has a noticeable white band near the tip. This particular duck is most often confused with the Lesser and Greater Scaup because of its similar coloring, but Scaups have no white ring on the bill and their heads are not peaked. Most female species seem to look alike in their camouflaged attire, but this female also has the noticeable white band near the tip of her bill.
This small duck forages by diving. It feeds on tubers, seeds and leaves of moist-soil and aquatic plants. They also dine on aquatic insects, snails and clams. During migration, Ring-necked Ducks inhabit ponds, lakes, and slow-moving rivers. This duck is strong and fast and, unlike many diving ducks, can take flight directly from the water without a running start. If you would like to see the Ring-necked Duck up close and flying go to Delta Waterfowl.
I can promise this duck will soon become a favorite with you. The artist for the Ring-necked Ducks is Marilyn Davis. For information about birds or upcoming Red Cliffs Audubon activities call 435 673-0996.
- Red Cliffs Audubon