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Audubon's 314 Birds At Risk: Ring-necked Duck 
Click here to learn about the Ring-necked Duck and the precarious future this species faces due to climate change via Audubon's dynamic website. Ring-necked Ducks can now be seen in mixed flocks here in Iowa. Distinguish them from a Lesser Scaup by looking for their black back (scaup's backs are gray); look for the Nike swoosh below their neck and the more peaked head (scaups have a more rounded head). The white ring on the bill can also be noticed when viewing this duck from afar, even without a scope.

Here are some fun facts about the Ring-necked Duck:
• The male of this species has a nearly invisible, iridescent maroon ring around its neck. All sexes and ages, however, have a bold white ring around the blue bill, making the "Ring-billed Duck" a much better name. 
 
• This species nests both in marshes and in boreal forests. It is also a fast flier and undertakes longer migrations than most other diving ducks.
• Because it never gathers in large flocks Ring-necked Ducks are not as heavily hunted as other duck species.
• A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "raft", "brace", "paddling" or "flush" of ducks. -- Facts compiled from iBird3 and the National Audubon Society webpage.


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Leucistic Pileated Woodpecker   
Hartman Reserve - Cedar Falls Iowa

Leucistic Pileated Woodpecker- Hartman Reserve - Photo courtesy of Tom Schilke
This picture of the leucistic Pileated Woodpecker at Hartman Reserve in Cedar Falls is just too gorgeous to take down from our home page. 

Want to see this bird to?

Park at the north end of the parking lot of River Hills School located at 2700 Grand Boulevard near Hartman Reserve.

Walk a very short way down the trail. Look to the west for Shagbark Hickory tree with a roost hole on the north side; listen for the bird's calls; it is very vocal and often calls as it approaches the roost hole. 

This bird reliably comes to its roost hole near dusk.