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Monday, January 7, 2013

January's Bird of the Month

Monday, January 7, 2013

January’s bird of the month is the rind-necked duck. We photographed this one at Santee Lakes, Lake 5 near the Santee Teen Center.

 At first, we thought this duck might be a greater or lesser scaup, which also has a partial blue bill.

However, the ring-necked duck has a peaked, angular head profile, distinctive white bill markings and dark upper wings that distinguishes it from the scaup.

The "ringneck" name is derived from a faint brownish ring around the base of the neck, which is visible only upon close inspection. The legs and feet are gray-blue and the iris is yellow. Ring-necked ducks dive in shallow water to feed on the tubers, seeds and leaves of and aquatic plants. They also eat aquatic insects, snails and clams.

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