[Tweeters] 91 Wood Ducks at Nighthawk, WA

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Sat Apr 19 20:59:16 PDT 2014


On April 15, while birding in northern Okanogan County, I made a brief stop
at Nighthawk, on the Similkameen River west of Oroville. From the bridge
across the Similkameen, I noticed quite a few Wood Ducks in the river and
perched on the banks, so I stopped to make an exact count. In three counts
of the Wood Ducks, the number kept going up; my final count was 91 birds!
Most of these were perched along the riverbank from the bridge downstream
for about 400 yards, and a small number were actually swimming in the river.
There were about equal numbers of males and females.

This is easily the largest group of Wood Ducks I have ever seen in
Washington. (The previous high count for Okanogan County in eBird was 20
birds!) Although I'm sure a few Wood Ducks breed along the Similkameen River
backwaters near Nighthawk such as Champneys Slough, I suspect that this was
a migratory concentration. Whatever the reason for this aggregation of Wood
Ducks, it was impressive!

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

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