Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide

Ring-necked Duck

Aythya collaris
Order: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae

Genus:  Aythya

Species: A. collaris
The white banding on the Male Ring-necked Duck in Winter is very distinctive and unlikely to be confused with other species, however it is known to hybridise with the Tufted Duck in which case the rings will be much less prominent and it will likely have a small crest.

The Male Ring-necked Duck in Winter is a black bird with light grey flanks and a bright yellow eye. Its bill is grey with a wide black tip and a white sub-terminal band, it also has a white band around the base of the bill making it distinctive if seen clearly.

Adult Male Winter
General distribution:
The Ring-necked Duck is an American species and is a rare but regular vagrant to Europe. It is also a common escapee from wildfowl collections.

Breeds on freshwater marshes and ponds often choosing acidic water. As a vagrant it can turn up on almost any area of freshwater, it is not adverse to very small pools and ponds unlike most diving ducks.
The Ring-necked Duck is well known for breeding with other Aythya species and hybrids often present an identification challenge. Pochard, Scaup and Tufted Duck are not uncommon vagrant hybrids.
The Male in Summer is not unlike the female but is generally much darker and the eye remains bright yellow. The bill markings are not as prominent in eclipse plumage.
Identifying a Male Ring-necked Duck Winter

Yellow eye

Light grey flanks

*Three coloured banded bill
Thanks to: Bryan's bird pics
* key ID points
Adult Female

Peaked crown

Identifying a Female Ring-necked Duck
Identifying a Male Ring-necked Duck

Rufous brown flanks

* key ID points

White eye ring

*White 'spur'

Male and Female Ring-necked Duck feeding.
Wildfowl (Ducks)

Black body

Greyish face

Adult Male Summer (Eclipse)
A pair of Ring-necked Duck
Thanks to:
*Dark peaked crown
The Female Ring-necked Duck has rufous brown flanks, a dark back and a peaked dark crown. It has a light eye ring and a greyish face with a pale line running from the eye to the ear coverts (tear line).
Thanks to:
A pair of Ring-necked Duck. Note the Female does not have the bright yellow eye of the male. Also not the Females eye ring and facial markings with the distinctive 'tear' line.
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Where's the best place to see this bird?
More ID tips?
Best place to photograph it?
Thanks to: Bryan's bird pics
Identifying a Male Ring-necked Duck Summer
Thanks to: Bryan's bird pics
*Banded bill

Dark back

*Pale 'tear' line