It was a good day for ducks on the lake behind our house, but a bad day for photographs. The weather was cloudy, and it was early morning. Nevertheless, I think this interesting duck is worth posting. It is a Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collars) that dropped in during migration. It has a distinctive peaked rear crown on its head and a yellow eye. You would probably say “it ought to be called a “Ring-billed Duck”; there is no ring to be seen on its neck. The light has to be just right to see the ring on the neck. The photograph below, although poor in most respects, shows the cinnamon-colored ring around the neck.
At any rate, it is a handsome duck. The Ring-necked Duck is a medium-sized diving duck. Adults eat a variety of plants, which they obtain by dabbling or diving. The genus name “Aythya” comes form a Greek word “aithuia” which means “sea duck” or “auklet”.
Two pairs of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) on the lake with the Ring-billed Duck. The photograph shows three of the four, two males and a female. The generic name “Aix” Aix derives from Latin Aquae which means “waters”. I think the specific name “sponsa” is from the Latin for “bride” or “betrothed woman”. Thus according to its scientific name the Wood Duck is the “bride of the waters”.