Ring-necked Ducks in Alsea Tidewater, Oregon

I don’t see these ducks year-round.  So, when they come around, I usually have to look them up.  They have similarities with scaups, both have blue on their bill and the colors are similar.  Differences are obvious when looking at them side-by-side though.

Although the cloud cover this morning made colors muted, the blue stripe on the bill of the Ringnecked duck almost glowed.

Ringnecked Duck - female
Ringnecked Duck – female

I had NO idea where their name came from.  I think I’ve said this before, but where is the ring around their neck?  According to AllAboutBirds.org, it comes from the “hard-to-see chestnut collar around its black neck”….”not a good field mark to use for identifying the bird.”

Ring-necked duck couple
Ring-necked duck couple

For comparison, here’s the scaup:

greater scaups
Greater Scaups
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