[CT Birds] Ring Necked Ducks-sexes

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Thu Mar 8 23:55:56 EST 2012

To add a bit of twist to this interesting question. Like many  
waterfowl species (especially divers), in the fall migration, the  
first birds to leave the nesting grounds and arrive on the wintering  
grounds (including in route migration stops) are the hens and juvenile  
birds. In Long Island Sound-traditionally, White-winged Scoters would  
arrive in late September. The flocks consisted of mostly hens and  
juveniles (they are called 'brownies' by Down East waterfowlers). The  
majority of the drakes usually didn't show up in the Sound  until mid  
to late October.

The drakes arrive later (in some species much later such as  
Goldeneyes) following the hens and meeting up later in the season.  
When the number of drakes (in winter) increased to a high percentage,  
the majority of the migration is completed. In spring it is often  
reversed- the drakes come through first (and may stay for a period of  
time) and the hens rapidly pass through often unseen. Also in our  
area, certain species such as the Ring-necked Duck and the BLue-winged  
Teal are more common during their spring migration, and much less in  
the fall, and as Greg stated; males and females of some species follow  
different migration routes.

Good question!

Keith Mueller

I did a little checking on this. According to Birds of North America  
on Line, the males and females winter in different numbers at  
different latitudes, which suggests that they also have different  
migration schedules. This is true of other birds, such as male  
Red-winged Blackbirds arriving on territory ahead of females.

Greg Hanisek

----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul Desjardins"  
<paul.desjardins2 at gmail.com>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 11:01 PM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Ring Necked Ducks-sexes
I too wonder why there are so many more drake than hens. Someone  
mentioned that they suffer from more predation as they sit on the  
nest. Guess that is as good a reason as anything else.
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