Ring-necked Duck

There were pictures of Ring-necked Ducks in my last post and they have been in previous posts as well. I often note that they should be called Ring-billed Ducks since the rings on their bills are so obvious. So why “Ring-necked”? I can’t quote a source so this is my opinion. Many birds were originally described using dead specimens. There is a ring on the Ring-billed Duck but it is only obvious upon close inspection or in just the right conditions. This photo was taken in New Mexico in 2018 at a man-made pond on a college campus. The pond attracted a very large number of wild and domestic ducks. This duck swam close enough for a photograph in good light. The ring is barely visible as a reddish-brown line at the base of the neck. So the ring is there but I still think Ring-billed is much more appropriate.

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