I had read some reports about a Black-bellied whistling duck in Milford, and since were in PEC on vacation anyways (good timing huh?) I figured we might as well try and find it. Our first attempt on Monday morning was unsuccesful, but we tried again later on in the evening. There were a bunch of cows that had wandered off and I thought for sure our chances would be blown since I thought the cows would have scared it off. We didn't see it at first, but lo and behold, after a few moments, a bunch of ducks emerged from the reeds closest the road. And indeed, one had a bright orange bill.
This duck is totally out of its range (it's from pretty far south....i.e. Mexico and Florida...escaping the oil spill?), and it's a mystery as to how it got here. It was hanging out with a bunch of mallards. It was so strange to watch, as it seemed so intent on "fitting in" with the mallards--it followed them around, preened when they preened, ate when they ate. But it was quite clear the others were giving it a hard time and nipping at it once in a while!
I know I only post one photo per bird, but I figure this is a special case and other birders may be interested!
#81: Black-bellied whistling duck; July 26, 2010 (6:30 pm); Milford, Ontario
Duck, duck, duck, cow.
Look close! I'm different. Even birds need to go on vacation once in awhile.
One of these things just isn't the same...
Mom trying to get special duck to bugger off. But it's persistent, and rejoined the group.
Can you say identity crisis?!
I'll be off in Algonquin for the next 5 days. Watch for updates when I get back!