Category Archive: Anatidae

Apr 29 2015

Rarest birds in the World: Baers Pochard (Aythya baeri)

This species is classified as Critically Endangered as it is now absent or occurs in extremely reduced numbers over the majority of its former breeding and wintering grounds and is common nowhere. It is thought that hunting and wetland destruction are the key reasons for its decline. Identification Phillips, 1922 Adult Male : Head and …

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Nov 25 2014

Rarest birds in the World: the Brazilian Merganser

Eyton in 1838 described it as follows:Merganser, with the head and neck glossy green; the occiput with a long pendent crest the same; the whole of the back, tail, and wings sooty black; wing spot white, divided by a black streak; under surface and the lower part of the neck brown, the latter, with the …

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Nov 23 2014

Rarest birds in the World: The Madagascar Pochard, a survivor of humans

This species was not uncommon in the end of the 19th century and first half of the twentieth century. In 1960 it had already completely vanished, with some vague records during the following decades. Several major surveys have been conveyed but without any success. Then, in 1991, a single drake was captured alive. In 2006 …

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Oct 27 2014

Rarest birds in the World: the Pink-headed Duck

This species has not been seen in the wild, other than some unverified observations, since 1949. Already in the 19th century it was mentioned as rare. It is now considered at the brink of extinction or already extinct because of hunting and habitat loss. In the past decennium it has been much sought after, f.e. …

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Aug 03 2014

Rarest birds in the World: Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis)

In 1896 Rotschild wrote: This Duck was found by my collector on Laysan Island only. The captain who told Dr. Finsch that there was a flightless Duck on Laysan Island no doubt referred to this species, but on account of its extraordinary tameness he was led to believe that it could not fly. It flies, …

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Nov 24 2013

The Story of the Cannibal Innkeeper

This is more or less a fairy tale, but of a very complicated character. Various elements are combined in it. It begins as do many tales, with the fact that a couple had a child after many years: that child is a beautiful girl, who, left as an orphan, dresses up in a man’s clothes, …

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Nov 12 2013

The Red Eyed Duck and the Old Blackfoot

Once, long ago, Old Man was travelling north along a river. He carried a great pack on his back. After a time he came to a place where the river spread out and the water was quiet, and here many ducks were swimming about. Old Man did not look at the ducks, and kept travelling …

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Oct 20 2013

The Geese and the abbess

Many years ago there was near the sea a convent famed for the rich crops of grain that grew on its farm. On a certain year a large flock of wild geese descended on its fields and devoured first the corn, and then the green blades. The superintendent of the farm hastened to the convent …

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May 28 2013

The Mallard talked and his enemy the Falcon heard.

The wintry winds had already begun to whistle and the waves to rise when the Drake and his mate gathered their half-grown brood together on the shore of their far northern lake. “Wife,” said he, “it is now time to take the children southward, to the Warm Countries which they have never yet seen!” Very …

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May 05 2013

Bird stories, Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Indians dwelling along the southwestern shore of Hudson Bay say that a small bird, one of the Fringillidae, performs its northward migration in spring on the back of the Canada goose. These geese reach Hudson Bay about the last of April, and the Indians state that when they are fired at little birds are seen …

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