There is some coincidental weirdness to this whole thing…
I got an email this week from one of the state’s top birders who sits on the state records committee. He was wondering about a photograph someone had given me which showed a black-bellied whistling duck in Fargo in 1986. (It was a couple years ago we North Dakotans were treated to just the second sighting out in Jamestown of the same southern species).
Then today my mother called me and asked if I had heard of the rare ducks being seen in South Dakota. I hadn’t so did a quick search and found this little news item out of the Sioux Falls Leader:
Rare black-bellied whistling duck spotted in Lennox
Here are the relevant graphs:
A peculiar, yet gregarious duck that’s native to the Southwestern U.S., Central and South America has been spotted in Lennox, touching off a minor sensation within South Dakota’s birder ranks.
It is the first such sighting of a black-bellied whistling duck in South Dakota, although neighboring states have recorded sightings.
One of those states is North Dakota. An uncommon occassion when we had one they didn’t.