Ring-necked duck

Amerikaanse kuifeend

Ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris)

The Ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris) is a diving duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
Amerikaanse kuifeend
English name:
Ring-necked duck
German name:
French name:
Fuligule à collier
Scientific name:
Aythya collaris

Scientific classification




Have an iridescent black head, neck, breast and upperparts. The belly and flanks are whitish to grayish, with a distinctive triangular white wedge extending upward in the area in front of the folded wing. The bill is slate with a white border around the base and nares, and a pale white band behind the black tip.

Have a brown head with a black crown, light brown cheeks and chin and a white eye ring. A narrow white line extends from the eye to the back of the head. The bill is slate with a faint white band near the tip. The neck, back, sides and flanks are brown and the belly is white. The legs and feet are gray-blue and the iris is brown.

Have a brown head with a black crown, light brown cheeks and chin. The bill is slate with a faint white band near the tip. The neck, back, sides and flanks are brown and the belly is white. The legs and feet are gray-blue and the iris is brown. Young Male well starts to get breeding plumage first winter with a slight yellow eye. But won’t get full adult plumage tell second winter.


The Ring-necked duck is relatively high on the water for a diver, can thus rise directly from the water without any drainage, often goes into hiding and sometimes only searches for food with its head under water. The youngsters keep them hidden in the riparian vegetation and, unlike most divers, do not lead them directly to the center of the pond. This behavior is probably due to the fact that, unlike most divers, they prefer shallow water as their habitat.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Ring-necked duck measures approximately 37-46 centimeters. The female measures approximately 37-46 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 820-910 gram. The female will weight about 820-910 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

Pochards are diving ducks which spend most of their time on water, and are ungainly on land. They are generally hardy, sociable and easy to maintain in captivity. They should be kept with deep water available for diving, three to seven feet suggested, or at least half the area 60cm and preferably one metre deep, with shallow sloping banks for easy exit from the water, also islands, good marginal vegetation and loafing areas. Water providing a good supply of natural animal and vegetable food is preferred.

These ducks may be kept in mixed collections with dabbling ducks, including smaller species such as teal. They should be fed wheat in water, encouraging their natural diving behaviour. Pellets should also be fed. They may breed better if a group rather than single pair kept, as this allows their normal group displaying activity.

30x30x35cm nest box with 12.5cm entrance hole suggested, placed under cover at the edge of the pond.

Ring-necked ducks are hardy, and fairly easy to keep, but should have access to ice-free water in winter. They are peaceable ducks. Fairly deep water is required to allow diving, and a good-sized pond with ample natural vegetation is preferred for breeding. Feed grain and pellets, also duckweed, and e.g. shrimps are appreciated.

These ducks may breed fairly readily or rather reluctantly, using close ground cover, open ground cover or ground-level boxes for nesting. Eggs are usually laid April to May. Hand-rearing ducklings is safest.

Hybridisation has been reported with Common teal (Anas crecca)Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)Red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), and Aythya spp.


The female Ring-necked duck usually lays from 7-9 Olive-grey, buff-green, olive-brown, pale-cream, buff-brown eggs and incubates them for 26-29 days.

Artificial incubating:

The ideal relative humidity for incubating most waterfowl eggs is 55% (ground nesters) and 40% (cavity nesters). The temperature is usually 37.4°C. Set ventilation as recommended by the incubator manufacturer. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. As the duckling develops there is a loss of water from the egg and the air sac gets bigger. In normal development of an egg with a 26-29 days incubation, the air sac occupies about a third of it three days earlier. Cleanliness is vital and ideally eggs should be moved to a separate hatcher at this point, where the humidity should be increased to 65% and even higher once they have pipped internally.

Bird banding:
Recommended closed leg band ring size for the Ring-necked duck is 9 mm.
The leg band ring can only be applied on a young diving duck at around 12 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it's good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
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Floatable special rearing feed for all types of aquatic ornamental fowl - especially for the cultivation of trees as well as greening ducks.

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Maintenance food:
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Lundi Regular with a protein content of 20%, valuable Spirulina and high-quality by-products is optimally balanced in its composition maintenance food for water ornamental fowl of all kinds. Especially green teal and Whistling ducks that are not dependent on a very high protein content, are well supplied.

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Floating full food for all sea ducks, green ducks, eider ducks and geese, especially in the moulting and breeding phase ideally suited. Packed with wholesome raw materials, natural vitamins and trace elements, this performance food with a protein content of 30% forms the basis for lifelong vitality.

Europese soort

Het is niet verboden om deze vogels te houden die van nature in Nederland voorkomen, op voorwaarde dat deze vogels in gevangenschap zijn geboren; nakweek dus. Deze vogels zijn voorzien van een gesloten pootring. Het is wel verboden om deze vogels te houden die in het wild gevangen zijn. Alleen bepaalde instanties, zoals vogelasiels en vogelhospitalen, zijn bevoegd om jonge en gewonde wilde vogels te houden. Deze bescherming van vogels wordt vormgegeven door schadelijke handelingen te verbieden zoals:het doden, verwonden, vangen, bemachtigen en met het oog daarop opsporen van vogels (art. 9 Flora- en faunawet); het opzettelijk verontrusten van vogels (art. 10 Flora- en faunawet);het beschadigen, vernielen, uithalen, wegnemen en verstoren van nesten, holen of andere voortplantings- of vaste rust- of verblijfplaatsen van vogels (art. 11 Flora- en faunawet);en het zoeken, rapen, uit het nest nemen, beschadigen of vernielen van eieren van vogels (art. 12 Flora- en faunawet).

Photos of the Ring-necked duck

Videos of the Ring-necked duck