American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Garganey – New York

On June 5, Jay McGowan discovered a male Garganey (ABA Code 4) at Montezuma NWR in Seneca County, New in the western part of the state.  The bird was seen the evening of the first day and again in the afternoon of the second day. It is evidently ranging widely over the refuge.

Photo: Jay McGowan

Photo: Jay McGowan

Montezuma NWR is located about an hour east of Rochester, New York, on the north end of Cayuga Lake. The bird was seen in the Knox-Marcellus Marsh from the East Road, at the same location both afternoons since it has been reported.

Garganey was formerly an ABA Code-3 species, but over the past few years the number of reports in the ABA Area has declined. This decrease is thought to be correlated to the decline in numbers from eastern Asia.  Between the 1970s and 2003, the total estimated population of Garganey in eastern Asia fell from 90,000 birds to 22,000 (ABA Checklist, 7th Edition, Pranty et al).

Most reports of the species come from spring when its distinctive plumage allows for ease in identification, and most recent records in the ABA Area away from Alaska are from April through June. Fall reports come mostly from mid-September to early November. Birds have been reported south of the ABA Area in Sinaloa, Baja California Sur, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and Barbados (ABA Checklist, 7th Edition, Pranty et al.).