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I went to Squaw Creek yesterday and did not see the whistling ducks. But I
did see thousands of acres of shallow water vegetation in which they could
easily be hiding. I'm not planning to try again (and it's only a 90 mile
drive for me!) until someone who is there regularly sees them again and can
tell me where on the refuge they hang out. (The description "near the
Yellow-headed Blackbirds" narrows the possibilities to a few thousand
acres!) If I knew where they were seen, it might be worth a few hours of
hanging around that place hoping they might show themselves. I can't see
driving up there just to go around the loop, hoping lightning will strike me
while I'm doing it.


As to whether they have been there since April, I recall that someone in
April saw them flying into or out of the refuge. Perhaps they are the same
birds, but they have been spending much of their time in some unbirded
place. On the other hand, this is a BB Whistling Duck year (as well as a
Roseate Spoonbill  year, a Wood Stork year and an Anhinga year). They've
showed up at Cheyenne Bottoms in Kansas, and quite a few of them have showed
up in Oklahoma. They could just as easily be new birds. Unless, we learn
that someone who keeps them has lost a pair (a third possibility, about
which let's not talk), we'll probably never know.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Hazelwood, Susan" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 9:00 AM
Subject: BB Whis Ducks - What's the Story?


Let's talk about those Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Squaw Creek National
Wildlife Refuge.

There were two BB Whistling Ducks seen by a few lucky folks at SCNWR during
the Audubon Society of MO spring meeting the last weekend in April. How many
folks think the recent sightings by Doug Willis are of the same birds?

Tommie Rogers and others faithfully bird Squaw Creek NWR and report their
sightings to MOBirds-L. They haven't reported seeing these ducks over the
course of the summer. Have the ducks been there all summer? Have they found
somewhere nearby to live? If Doug only saw them twice, briefly, in five
hours of birding SCNWR what are the chances of those of us who live many
miles away, who can only spend brief hours birding SCNWR, discovering them?

I suppose I'm thinking aloud but do seriously wonder if this jaunt would be
worth the effort?

Needless to say, if anyone goes seeking the BB Whistling Ducks a lot of us
would appreciate knowing your results (either positive or negative.)

TIA,
Susan
Susan Hazelwood
Columbia, Boone County, Missouri
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