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Monday, March 8, 2010

Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)

I suspect you all thought when seeing the above duck, "Aha, he's showing us another picture of the Lesser Scaup!" That's what I thought too when I first noticed him swimming around in Swan Lake. Then I noticed the white band across his bill and realized that I was seeing something different. This is a male Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris), another member of the diving duck family. The cinnamon coloured neck ring is seldom very visible and the duck is sometimes called the Ring-billed Duck. Below is the more discreetly coloured female. I've just realized that one reason that the females of these duck species tend to be rather drab browns is that they blend in so well with the reeds and grasses that line their natural habitats like Swan Lake. I suspect this camoflage serves them well during the long periods they must spend on their nests when incubating their young.Below, the head-on view of the male shows the neck ring more clearly as well as his oddly shaped head.

1 comment:

JoJo said...

The female birds are always more drab than the males so that they can blend in w/ their surroundings better.