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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My first "unusual" ducks of the winter!

A friend of mine has a small pond at their house, and they have raised some mallards which live on the pond.  Occasionally these "domestic" mallards sometimes get visitors.  The last few weeks the visitors have been popping in.  It started with a flock of about eight wild mallards, and then some Canadian Geese stopped by to visit, but today, I saw something much more exciting!

Five male Ring Neck Ducks!! Ring neck ducks nest in the sub-arctic, tundras, boreal forests, and aspen park lands, but in the winter they will migrate towards the Gulf of Mexico and the southern Atlantic coast of the U.S.  We get to see them on their way through.  Ring Necks are considered diving ducks and are not quite appropriately named.  They have very distinguishable white rings around their beaks, and the males have a much harder to see chestnut ring around their neck (for which they are named).  The males are quite beautiful with their coloring, and the females closely resemble female Redheads.  

Keep your eyes open, because now is the time that we will start to see the Common Mergansers (and if you are really lucky the Hooded Mergansers!)  Sorry for the slightly grainy photos!

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