Tulare Co. FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCKS
- Today, 1 Nov., 2006, I tried for the FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCKS at Dead
Pigs Pond in Tulare Co. hoping for 4th time being the charm. I went
with the intention of staying there until I saw one. When I pulled up,
there was an adult standing up in the sun at the north end of the first
clear water from the south end of the west pond. Nearby were 2 other
birds snuggled down in the weeds. As I watched, they started to swim
out. 2 adults came out together, soon after another bird emerged, &
then the 4th appeared. I was back in my car when a 5th FULVOUS
WHISTLING-DUCK appeared with seemingly 6 downy ducklings following
The ducklings were a grayish color with a dark crown and a dark
eye-stripe. They all faded back into the vegetation very quickly and I
waited an hour hoping they would reappear, but they never did. I have
looked in my copy of The Ducks, Geese and Swan of North America by
Francis H. Kortright, 1942 which shows downy young. The picture on p.
458 is what I believe I saw. The other duckling it could be would be
A. The only other adult duck in the area that I saw was a female
mallard, and these were not mallard ducklings. They were gray, not
yellow & brown. Also, the shape was wrong - their heads were big in
relation to the rest of the body.
B. The dark crown on a Ruddy Duck duckling goes down below the eye, and
the stripe is a cheek stripe. The dark crowns on these ducklings did
not seem that extensive, and the stripe seemed to go through the eye,
not across the cheek.
I really believe I saw FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK ducklings however, I was
in my car looking through a curved windshield so did not have the best
look and was only using my binoculars (10x Zeiss). By the time I got
out of my car, the ducks had disappeared. I was so excited by the
ducklings that I did not notice if the duck they were with was an
Hopefully, someone else will see these ducklings.