Date of this Version
The Nebraska Bird Review Vol. 86 No. 2 (2018), pp 96-98
On the afternoon of 5 June 2018, I was scouting local Salt Valley lakes to get an estimate of goose numbers for annual Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) banding operations. At approximately 2:30 p.m. I was tallying my goose counts in the northwest corner of Wagon Train Wildlife Management Area in Lancaster County, when I noticed four ducks on a nearby vegetated mud flat. After closer examination, I recognized the ducks as Fulvous Whistling-Ducks (Dendrocygna bicolor). I spent a few years working in Louisiana in that state’s waterfowl program, and I am familiar with the species and its identification. I was surprised to observe them here in Nebraska, but I did not fully comprehend the magnitude of the discovery until the news reached Joel Jorgensen with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Nongame Bird Program. Since the initial observation, multiple re-sightings by numerous individuals occurred (eBird 2018). Reports indicated no bands were observed and hind toes were intact (eBird 2018), suggesting the ducks are wild. The ducks were last reported on 24 June 2018 (eBird 2018). This is the first documented occurrence of Fulvous Whistling-Ducks in the state of Nebraska.