Ring-necked Duck on pastel water & ice – Nikon D200, tripod mounted, f7.1, 1/750, USO 250, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light
I read a post on the American Birding Association (ABA) site yesterday about some potential splits and name changes for 2017 and a few of the changes got me excited. The American Ornithologist’s Union (AOU) has merged with the Cooper Ornithological Society (COS) to form the American Ornithological Society (AOS) and they are now working together on taxonomy, splits, reclassifications and name changes for the birds of North and Middle America.
In 2017 one of the proposals submitted to the AOS is to rename Ring-necked Ducks to Ring-billed Ducks and I personally am all for the name change!
The “ring” around the neck of Ring-necked Ducks is easily missed and at times it is impossible to see due to the lighting or posture of the bird. I can’t see the ring around the neck of the drake pictured above and most of the time we can’t see it.
The “ring” around the bill of Ring-necked Ducks is easily seen and even novice birders or bird photographers can use the ring as a key in ID.
Ring-necked Duck drake flapping its wings – Nikon D200, tripod mounted, f7.1, 1/750, USO 250, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light
This image does show the “ring” around the neck of the drake Ring-necked Duck, it is at the lower portion of the neck where the neck of the duck joins the body, it is the section where a cinnamon to chestnut colored iridescence can be seen, just barely. But would most people like new birders or novice bird photographers have noticed it without me saying where that ring is? Probably not.
Hunters often call Ring-necked Ducks “Ring-billed” and I have to admit I have done the same myself many times. I do hope the name change goes through. It just makes sense.
Life is good.