****BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS

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Anne Hughes

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May 16, 2022, 6:05:17 PMMay 16
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Apparently there were photos posted of 7 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks on a roof near Lewisporte. They have been around the area since this past Saturday.
Anne H.

Paul Linegar

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May 17, 2022, 9:58:35 PMMay 17
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Presumably captive/ released birds since truely wild BBWD are basically non-migratory. We had a flock of Fulvous Whistling Ducks turn up in NL a few years ago.

PL

pbjonesful

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May 17, 2022, 10:27:02 PMMay 17
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Pretty solid pattern of vagrancy by this species up the eastern seaboard and into Ontario. Wild origin a definite possibility.

Paul Linegar

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May 18, 2022, 6:31:20 AMMay 18
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There are so many captive released birds it's insane. For example, there was such a solid pattern of Tufted Ducks in the Great Lakes region that some guides showed their range as including that area before the first truly wild birds started turning up in NL! Having a flock of non-migratory birds appear thousands of miles out of range without any unusual weather events strongly suggests captive/ release/ introduction origin. To add something new to the NL list the identification and origin of the bird has to be beyond a reasonable doubt rather than a maybe.
PL

pbjonesful

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May 18, 2022, 9:48:01 PMMay 18
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Lots of info about BBWD vagrancy on the internets. Small sample:

"Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have been expanding their range in the southern U.S., and the North American Breeding Bird Survey shows strong population growth, estimated at over 6% per year from 1966–2014.”

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-bellied_Whistling-Duck/lifehistory

"Known for wayward individuals wandering northward in spring and late summer, Wisconsin’s first record of BBWD came in 1998, according to the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. After several additional records through 2002, the species has occurred more frequently over the past decade. Six records occurred from 2011–2014 and then in 2019, BBWD was documented in six Wisconsin counties, including an impressive group of eight birds in Outagamie.

In 2020, in addition to a long-staying Milwaukee bird, a single BBWD was reported in La Crosse first in early July and again in mid-August. Then, on September 11, Andrea Frisch spotted one at Myrick Marsh and spread the word to local birders. Gwyn Calvetti headed out hoping to find the bird, even though Andrea warned it had flown off. What Gwyn found was even more unexpected — an adult BBWD with at least 13 tiny chicks!"

https://ebird.org/atlaswi/news/first-confirmation-of-black-bellied-whistling-duck-nesting-in-wisconsin

"The New Brunswick Records Committee accepted the documentation in respect to the six Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks discovered last season at the Atholville Lagoons, Restigouche Co NB. This action resulted in the province gaining its first six records of that species. Accidental vagrants to Nova Scotia, the four Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in the Shinimcas area, Cumberland Co 6–14 Sep (Daniel Penner, m. ob.) and later observed in the Village of East Apple River, Cumberland Co (ph. Kathleen Spicer) provided the first Fall records to that province.

The New Brunswick Records Committee accepted the documentation in respect to the six Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks discovered last season at the Atholville Lagoons, Restigouche Co NB. This action resulted in the province gaining its first six records of that species. Accidental vagrants to Nova Scotia, the four Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in the Shinimcas area, Cumberland Co 6–14 Sep (Daniel Penner, m. ob.) and later observed in the Village of East Apple River, Cumberland Co (ph. Kathleen Spicer) provided the first Fall records to that province."

https://www.aba.org/atlantic-region-fall-2021/

Paul Linegar

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May 18, 2022, 10:01:30 PMMay 18
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Reminds me of the Tufted Duck stories.

Richard Thomas

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May 23, 2022, 2:45:24 PMMay 23
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On Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 11:31:30 PM UTC-2:30, pdli...@gmail.com wrote:
> Reminds me of the Tufted Duck stories.

Well, here's my two cents worth re the BBWD 'wild birds vs. escapes debate'. I haven't seen the photos, but the obvious question to ask is whether any of the birds had bands or clipped halluces (indicative of captive origin)? The ABA's weekly Rare Bird Alert summary for May 22, 2022 states: "....a small flock of BBWDs in Lewisporte represent (sic) the latest outlier for this waterfowl species with an impressive proclivity to wander in recent years." Regarding BBWD, Crossley's Eastern Guide says: "rapidly increasing resident of the Gulf states, prone to wander long distances, particularly in late spring and summer." The Atlantic Region report in the March-May, 2008 issue of North American Birds (vol. 62, no. 3) contains the following: "A flock of 9 BBWD was discovered at Country Harbour (Guysbourough) Nova Scotia 24 May, remained until June 4, then turned up in Ipswich, Massachussetts on 6th June." It seems to me that the Lewisporte BBWDs are far more likely to represent genuine wild vagrants than, for example, Yellow-breasted Bunting (a species in severe decline, known to be kept as a cage bird, and with no history of occurrence on the Eastern Seaboard).
RT

Paul Linegar

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May 23, 2022, 11:32:41 PMMay 23
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It's interesting how little interaction there is between the aviculturists and the birders. Over the years I've visited or spoken to several owners of the 40 or so registered aviaries in NL. It's a real eye opening experience. As for BBWDs, Harteman Wildfowl Aviaries states what everyone says: "... this species is popular and commonly seen in aviaries...." "Their unique call, awkward appearance and adaptability to aviary life make them very appealing to many breeders. This particular species is also very good for beginners, but do require a secure shelter during the coldest winter months. They do best when kept in small groups."

Kind of reminds me of our flock of Fulvous Whistling Ducks.
You're right Richard, the YBBU did have cage wear.

The end. No doubt.

PL



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