Category Archives: west coast

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, 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

First Goose Chick!

I wonder if the first goose chick is an over-achiever?

canada goose couple with one chick
First Chick Sighting!

This little guy got to go out with mommy and daddy today.  I wonder if siblings are still in their eggs on this warm day?  The geese are headed back to the nest when they see the Great White Egret fishing up ahead.

Great White Egret and Mallard hen
Great White Egret and Mallard hen

So they guide their little one to their opposite side to put themselves between their chick and potential danger.

canada goose, great white egret, mallard
3 varieties of waterfowl co-exist

The chick – okay gosling – will be almost as big as Mom and Dad in just a couple months.

canada goose family
Canada Goose family heading home

We counted a possible 10 nests just from the heads popping up out of the tall grass in the marshes next to Eckman Lake on the Alsea River.

Nesting on Alsea River at Eckman Lake
Nesting on Alsea River at Eckman Lake

There’s a parking area on Hwy 34 where you can view the Canada Goose families at Eckman Lake.  Bring your binoculars and zooming camera to get a close look like these.  I’m sure I don’t need to say this but I will:  DO NOT walk through their nesting field as they will abandon their nests leaving the chicks vulnerable to predators.  And the parents will probably not return next year.