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An adult male ring-necked duck has a large body that is about 7½ to 8 inches long; the female is slightly smaller. His head, neck and breast are black, he has gray flanks, and there is a white crescent separating the flanks from the breast. The female has tan sides, a brown back and a white belly. Both sexes have a black tip and ring of gray on their bill, although the female's bill ring is less pronounced than the male's.
Distribution and Habitat
Ring-necked ducks are found across North America, except for the arctic regions, as well as in the West Indies. They breed in sedge-meadow marshes, swamp, and bogs with waters ranging from fresh to somewhat acidic.
Pairing begins in March and April; nesting begins in May.
The nest is built on a floating island or in an open marsh. The female selects the nesting site and does all the work of building the nest herself. Clutches typically contain 8 or 9 milky white eggs, but can range from 6 to 14. The female incubates the eggs for 26 or 27 days.
About eighty percent of a ring-neck's diet consists of pondweeds, seeds, and tubers, with pondweeds being the major component. The other twenty percent consists of insect larvae, mollusks, worms, and crustaceans.
Habits and Behaviors
Ring-necked ducks migrate in small groups and nest close to each other. Males and females usually stay in separate groups until mating season.
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This page was last updated on November 07, 2018.