Tag Archives: Ring-necked Duck


Under the weather with a two-boxes-of-tissues-a-day head cold, I haven’t been out walking as much as usual. This afternoon I popped over to Niles to take our Rosie out for a very short walk, just in time to see off in the distance a male and female Ring-necked Duck resting at the icy water’s edge, along with freshly opened branches of pussy willows. Spring is surely on her way!

Ring-necked Ducks for the most part breed further north. I imagine the little flock that is at Niles is only here for a brief period of time.


Local ponds freezing up – Henry's Pond Rockport

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As our local ponds begin to freeze, look for diving ducks along the sea’s edge. They are hunting for mollusks, crustaceans, snails, shrimp, and other small creatures. 

Canvasback and Ring-necked Duck Niles Pond ©Kim Smith 2016

Niles Pond Canvasback Duck with Male and Female Ring-necked Ducks

I haven’t seen the Canvasback or Ring-necked Ducks since Niles Pond started to freeze on Monday. Only partially frozen in some areas and with the warmer weekend temperatures predicted, I hope they’ll return soon!

Niles Pond Winter Dawn

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Interesting short video of eiders diving for mollusks in the Arctic ~

Silly Old Coot

When I was a child, my siblings and I oftentimes called one another nonsensical names– “old coot” and “silly old coot” are two insults we frequently relied upon. I am not sure from where we picked up these idioms, but I am positive we did not know a coot is a charming water bird.

As I was leaving Eastern Point Saturday afternoon, I nearly ran over two coots that were in the road adjacent to Niles Pond. There was a crowd of birders positioned along the water’s edge with binoculars and cameras equipped with stupendously enormous telephoto lenses. Quickly parking, I grabbed the video camera, with no time to set-up the tripod. For the most part the birds stayed in the middle of the pond, however several times the coots swam closer to shore, with cover provided by the tall grasses. Coots have a sprightly way of paddling, sort of a bobbing swim, and I thought the jaunty melody of this Beethoven symphony mirrored their movements. Featuring, in order of appearance, Ruddy Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, American Coot, female Ring-necked Duck, and female Mallard.

Total length 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Reader Judy writes:  Astute birders shoot cute coots scoot – woot!