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Ring-necked Duck


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The male Ring-necked Duck is a sharply marked bird of gleaming black, gray, and white. Females are rich brown with a delicate face pattern. At distance, look for this species’ distinctive, peaked head to help you identify it. Even though this species dives for its food, you can find it in shallow wetlands such as beaver swamps, ponds, and bays. Of all the diving duck species, the Ring-necked Duck is most likely to drop into small ponds during migration.


Ring-necked Ducks make a series of short, high, grating barks or grunts. Females also make a high peeping.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Find This Bird

You can find Ring-necked Ducks in fairly small, shallow wetlands. They breed mainly across far northern North America, so check the range map and look for them during migration and in winter, when they can form large flocks. Don’t look for a ring around the neck—it’s really hard to see. Look instead for the bird’s peaked head shape, white ring around the bill, and white patch just in front of the gray flanks.



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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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