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new species? - RuddyRedRing Duck

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This one has been baffling me.  Probably a juvenile something-or-other, but Nat Geo seems pretty useless for juvenile ducks.  I've attached several pictures.  These were taken on three different days (late Aug), so they may not be the same bird or even type of bird.  But they were all taken in the same small pond in Banff NP.  Merlin says Ring-necked, with Redhead and Ruddy as alternatives.  My confusion:

  • Ring-necked:  Head shape looks good (peaked) in a couple of pictures and the bill shape seems OK.  However, Ring-necked are supposed to have a white eyering, a white band behind the bill and a white stripe and black tip on the bill.  I see a hint of white behind the bill.  But no eyering and the bill coloring seems off.
  • Redhead: Redhead bills look more scooped than my pictures.  Redhead has a black tip on the bill that is missing here.  Redhead is medium brown, these seem darker.
  • Ruddy Duck:  Out of range (but not too far).  Ruddy bills look more scooped than my pictures.  Ruddy's dark cap extends down and includes the eyes.  On these ducks, the eye is below the cap.
  • Scaup?:  Not on the Merlin list, but the head and bill shape look pretty good.  However, I can't find any scaup pictures with this much white spread across the face.
  • Bufflehead?  Bill looks too big.

I think Ring-necked is the best fit, but the missing white stripe on the bill and missing eyering are bothering me.

Appreciate any help, thanks in advance!

PS.  OK, I realize I did not discover a new species.  But if I had, would I get to name it?  If so, I would call it "Shootmenow". ?







8/29:  Maybe not too much help, but I like the picture.




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