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Falcated Duck Spotted at the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge

A Falcated Duck spotted at the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge in Colusa. (Photo by Mike Peters)

Submitted to the Williams Pioneer Review

On December 8th, a male falcated duck was identified at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge. This vagrant from asia is sometimes seen in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, but an extreme rarity for California.

Birds seen in the United States are sometimes escapees from captivity but no determination has been made on this bird yet, according to Lora Haller of the Sacramento Wildlife headquarters in Willows.

This duck is in the teal family and is named for the male’s long, falcated (sickle-shaped) tertials (wing feathers near the body) that overhang onto the tail.

Since it was identified that morning, over 1,000 vehicles packed with people have been to Colusa in 19 days.

The bird luckily enjoys the pond near the viewing platform providing space for birders and scopes. Days when the bird does not show himself, the parking lot is overflowing with vehicles as birders swarm the platform waiting all day for the bird to be spotted. Birders have come in from across California and the country.

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