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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:05 AM   #1
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Default Falcated Duck- Very rare bird for N. America

I have been extremely lucky these last few weeks. On Dec. 8th there was a rare bird sighting at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge near Colulsa, California which is about 45 miles south of where I am.
A Falcated Duck, Anas falcata, formerly known as a Falcated Teal, was spotted. I went down on Dec. 10 to see if I could catch a glimpse of the bird. I, along with about 100 others birders all crammed onto the small viewing platform were witness to a disappointing "NO SHOW" by the bird.
Apparently, it has been seen every day since the 10th so I made my second trip yesterday and I was not disappointed this time. The bird was resting on a loafing island about 120 yards from the platform in full view. After about an hour it deciding to get into the water and swam to within 60 yards of us and spent the afternoon feeding and dabbling in the water right in front of us, all 4 of us. It was surprisingly empty of people. A few would come and go but no big crowds. It was nice.
It is a spectacular bird. The pictures are OK, but I wish the bird had come a little closer, it really tested the limits of my lens and the wind was howling which made it difficult to keep the tripod from shaking. Here are some of the results, I hope you enjoy this rare, for North America, beauty. (It's normal breeding grounds are in Asia and it winters in Southeast Asia).
The falcated duck is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List

He was resting until this Cackling Goose disturbed him.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:08 AM   #2
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120 yards out on the loafing island trying to sleep. All of the activity of the other birds kept disturbing him so he went for a swim.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:09 AM   #3
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coming closer.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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A good look at his sickle-shaped (falcated) tertial feathers extending over black rump.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:17 AM   #5
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Steve, beauriful colours. Liked the shots very much.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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Here he is in the middle of his display for the other ducks. He would bend his head down towards the water and then quickly flip it up spreading his crown feathers and then finish by wiggling his rump. It was very comical.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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Preening his feathers.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:20 AM   #8
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He liked to follow the American Wigeon that were there.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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Wow what a spectacular bird! Congratulations, I think you captured him beautifully. Are they a solitary bird? Is he just hanging out with the other ducks? Would he mate with another species of ducks?
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 12:19 PM   #10
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Great shots of a fantastic looking bird. Thanks for sharing.

jj
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