Skip to main content

Breaking News: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck!

I just received word late this afternoon, along with the photo above, of a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck that was found in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, which is in Knox County. The bird was found towards dusk on Wednesday evening, and hopefully is still in the area. Vagrant whistling-ducks do sometimes have a tendency to stick, and with luck so will this one.

Here are the directions, as provided to me: "The duck turned up in an apartment complex called The Arbors of Mount Vernon. They are on Yauger Rd., just off of 36 at the east end of town. I hope some folks can find it. As I said, we are close to the Kokosing River, and about 20 minutes south of Knox lake." A map is below:

Note the pond just south and west of the apartments, which are outlined in red. That might be a good starting point in a search for the whistling-duck.

Following is a note from the observer: "Last night [Wednesday, June 20] as I was sitting on my patio, a duck flew over the roof of the apartment, and then it landed on the roof. I had never seen a duck land on a roof. It stood very upright, had a black belly, a chestnut breast, and sent up a long sing-song cry. I immediately got my iPad to identify it. It turned out to be a black bellied whistling duck! The call on the website was identical. The duck flew away, but as I played the call, it returned and landed again on the roof, whistling a reply. I took a few pictures and a video, but it was so high that the quality is poor. I did get the call on the video though."

Here's a photo of a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck that I took in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas a few years back. This species is expanding its range, and extralimital northern records are becoming more commonplace. Ohio's first record dates to 2004. That bird, which was near Cincinnati, also turned up in an a suburban apartment complex. Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks can be quite "tame" and often frequent highly urbanized locales. Our second record was found by Larry Richardson in August 2010 at Pipe Creek Wildlife Area on Lake Erie.

I'm sure we'll be seeing yet more of these wonderful gooselike whistling-ducks, and good luck with the chase should you try and find this Knox County bird.


OPShots1 said…
How very cool...I would love to see one of these up here!
Nomadic Birder said…
Hopefully it sticks around until Saturday - then I can make a quick detour as I drive to Trumbull Co. from Darke Co. Thanks for getting the word out!

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Snowy owl photography tactics - and things NOT to do

A gorgeous juvenile female snowy owl briefly catches your narrator with its piercing gaze. It's doing its Linda Blair/Exorcist trick - twisting its head 180 degrees to look straight behind. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae - double our number - which allows them such flexibility.

These visitors from the high arctic have irrupted big time into Ohio and adjacent regions, with new birds coming to light nearly every day. Probably 80 or so have thus far been reported in the state, and some of them have stuck around favored spots and become local celebrities.

I went to visit one of these birds this morning - the animal above, which was found last Friday by Doug Overacker and Julie Karlson at C.J. Brown Reservoir near Springfield. In the four days since its discovery, many people have visited as is nearly always the case when one of these white wonders appears near a large population center or is otherwise very accessible.

And as is always the case, people want to photograph the owls. And th…