Thursday, May 11, 2017
For the Betterment of Birds, Featuring Our Guest Eurasian Native, the Ruddy Shelduck
Naturally, the highlight was this beautiful example of the Eurasian native, the Ruddy Shelduck.
Since 2004, a number of examples have presented themselves on North American shores, and inland, which is quite normal. However, it is improbable that this duck crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Even though it is most likely with the Canadian reports, again, it is doubtful.
Research has gleaned that there are numerous breeders of exotic waterfowl in the US, and escapees do occur in certain cases. It happens upon occasion with zoo animals, as well as others in private collections. I strongly believe that it is an escapee, just from the simple fact that all of these birds have been found within a few hundred miles of breeding facilities.
This example of the Ruddy Shelduck is the only one listed on eBird that has been photographed, to my knowledge. It happens to be an excellent example of what COULD be a wild bird according to people that reside on the Asian continent. There are exotic breeding facilities in Iowa and Mississippi, which are both likely areas from where this duck might have originated.
The high concentrations of the birds found in Canada most likely originated at the facility in Michigan.
As we will likely never know exactly where these birds came from, it is interesting to note how many
birds do share the world with us. For naturalists, birders, and ornithologists, it makes sharing our space with other species such as these so enriching and empowering to know that we have a small understanding of them.
The other birds shown, the female Warbling Vireo, and the Least Sandpiper, were brought to us by
the graces of nature. In your travels and conversations, help me help them by doing a small part in eradicating trash on their land and water, protecting their natural environments, and saving and promoting the organizations that speak for them and do them justice.
Thank you for reading, and happy birding to future generations through your generous donations and assistance.