Date: 3/10/17 6:01 pm From: Yong Kong <yklitespeed...> Subject: [JERSEYBI] Update on my duck study post on March 4, 2017
I headed out his morning with every intent of heading towards Cape May proper to check out that male Tufted Duck, but instead I quickly found myself at Makepeace Lake WMA, in Atlantic County in search Mrs. Tufted Duck that may have gotten separated from the Cape May TUDU somewhere during their travel. Sadly, I arrived in the middle of snow blizzard per south jersey standards and the viewing condition was non-existent.
Very disappointed about the snow and headed over to Brig in search of sparrows and grassland birds that could be more exposed along the freshly mowed grass area of the dike drive. This time I was hoping for a light snow cover on the ground. Bird-god must have planted a snow bird for me as I found one.
High light of the day was receiving an email from David Sibley about my odd duck that I took photos on March 4, 2017. Two local expert birders and I have been exchanging e-mails as to the ID of this hybrid duck. Canvasback heritage was nailed down, but redhead, scaup and ring-necked were discussed and we all had our opinion. I can not say thank you enough to these two Cape May based expert birders for their input. Below is David S’s response.
My best guess would be a female Canvasback X Redhead hybrid. This is a fairly frequent combination as hybrids go, but (for obvious reasons) females are rarely identified. The head pattern and head shape of your bird look a lot like Redhead to me, and also the plain gray tertials.
This hybrid may have been at Brig today as well but the viewing condition due to snow and my desire to study sparrows, I did not sort through the Canvasback flock today. On the way home from the back bays of Atlantic City, I stopped by the Makepeace Lake again, and saw about 100 ring-necked ducks.