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#ABArare – Falcated Duck – Washington

On January 16, Rick Klawitter found a male Falcated Duck (ABA Code 4) on Padilla Bay in Skagit County, Washington. This is potentially the 5th record for Washington (and notably the 3rd from this site). The species is fairly rare outside of Alaska.

Photo: Jordan Roderick/Macaulay Library (S33721725)

Padilla Bay is located just over an hour north of Seattle, south of Bellingham. It was originally seen among a flock of wigeons (both American and European) near the cabins at Bay View State Park and moved south from there. It was refound by several birders throughout the afternoon at the north end of the Padilla Bay Shore Trail, off of Bayview Edison Rd.

Falcated Duck is known in the ABA Area mostly from Alaska, but there are several records on the west coast, many of which are suspected to be individuals returning over several years, as with a bird that overwintered at Colusa NWR in northern California for at least two nonconsecutive years. Notably, all records in North America away from Alaska are males, suggesting either that females are over-looked or that the birds are of captive origin. The second is concerning when considering the species, but ultimately short of seeing a band, impossible to determine.

Records of Falcated Duck elsewhere in the ABA Area (in Ontario, Ohio, and Maryland, for instance) are not considered to be of wild origin.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
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