On a late March morning, three ring-necked ducks, one male and two females, move easily across the waters of Lakeland, Florida's Lake Morton in search of breakfast. The ring-necked duck�(aythya collaris) is a short to medium range migrant�that prefers small bodies of water like beaver ponds, cattle ponds, small lakes, marshes of flooded agricultural fields.It can be found from northern Canada to Central America and the Caribbean. During their fall migration, they sometimes form flocks of up to several hundred thousand, converging on certain lakes in Minnesota to feed on wild rice.
A compact diving duck, the ring-necked duck measures from15.4" to 18.1" in length with a wingpan between 24.4" and 24.8." �They have a sloping forehead and a peaked rear crown, which flattens when diving or in flighjt. The head seems large when compared to the thin neck and short round body. Their beaks and legs are grey blue and the bill has a black tip. Drakes have a dark head, black neck with a dark chestnut ring around its base,�black back, and silvery grey sides with a white hash mark on their chest. There is a prominent white ring near the tip of the bill and a white edging to the base of the bill. The eyes are yellow.�Females are a rich brown with contrasting pale cheeks and a white patch near their bill and a white ring near the tip.�They have a whiteish eye ring and brown eyes..
April 16th, 2016
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