Travel Tuesday: A 'totally lost' Asian duck makes water landing in Anchorage
The rare sighting of an Asian bird has drawn crowds at Potter Marsh in Anchorage since last week. As of Tuesday morning, the falcated duck was nowhere to be found, but the novelty hasn't worn off as many wonder: How did it end up here?
Mr. Whitekeys, president of the Anchorage Audubon Society, has a theory.
"It's totally lost," Whitekeys said Tuesday. "These ducks are usually in China. They might be in Korea, they might sometimes get to Japan."
There have been sightings of the species in the Aleutian Islands, but according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, this is the first documented appearance on mainland Alaska.
Bird enthusiasts have captured images of the duck hanging out with local waterfowl. Whitekeys said that's not unusual behavior for a male falcated duck this time of year, which is typically mating season for the species.
"He hasn't got a girlfriend for 2,000 miles and so he's a lonely guy," Whitekeys said, later adding the duck is likely looking for a mate but chances are it won't find one.
Whitekeys says the rare bird was last spotted at Potter Marsh this past weekend.
"He could stay here all summer, he could already be gone. We just have no idea. There's no way to second guess what these guys are doing," Whitekeys said.
The Anchorage Audubon Society is keeping an eye out for the bird. Whitekeys said some have confused it with the similar-looking green-winged teal.
"It's a very distinctive duck, but it does superficially look like a green-winged teal, so there can be some mistaken identification" Whitekeys noted.
Anyone who thinks they may have seen the falcated duck can email the Anchorage Audubon Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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