Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
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 Post subject: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 13 12:00 pm 
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This Sunday the 11th, I did a Coastal Waterbird Survey at Kitsilano beach.
When I got there, there were the usual crows and gulls, and a mixed flock of Common and Barrow's Goldeneye near shore. There were a few juvenile males with the white crecents on their face not quite developed, so they looked a bit unusual. Further out there was a lone Western Grebe, a couple of Common Loons, and a Double-crested Cormorant that flew by. A pair of Bufflehead were foraging near shore, and a few Trumpeter Swans flew high overhead, migrating north. A while later a Red-throated Loon swam by, and there was a small group of Surf and White-winged Scoters. The most interesting bird popped up about 150 meters offshore at the beginning of my count. It was a small duck, with clean white sides and a black back like a Bufflehead, black tail and tail coverts like a Goldeneye, a black shoulder spur, white neck and face, and black bill, eyes, chin, crown, and nape. I think it is a Bufflehead x Barrow's Goldeneye hybrid. It looked like a male, but I think that if a female hybrid hatched, she would look like a male because hybrids have reduced fertility, and infertile female birds can take on the appearance of a male. That's just a hypothesis, though.
I didn't bring my camera, but I made a quick drawing to show what it looked like. I think it's interesting that the hybrid had a face pattern that wasn't like either parent, neither of them has a white cheek.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 13 2:23 pm 
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Something like this? From the Ferry Jetty.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 13 4:17 pm 
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There is a male Bufflehead x Common Goldeneye hybrid that has spent at least the last three winters along the Kitsilano waterfront (usually between Jericho and Kits Beach)-- I suspect this would be the same bird, and could very well be the same bird that Mike photographed.

Russ Cannings
Burnaby, BC


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 Post subject: Re: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 13 4:52 pm 
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MDB8 wrote:
Something like this? From the Ferry Jetty.

Image


very cool!

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Digital (photo) Life List:
286 birds B.C. / 429 birds N.A. / 823 birds World (including NA)


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 Post subject: Re: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 13 5:58 pm 
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Common Goldeneye x Bufflehead. Amazing find!
Wesley
Campbell River


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 Post subject: Re: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 13 8:08 pm 
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Yes, it looked exactly like that duck, but didn't have the black chinstrap, and had black undertail coverts.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 13 8:14 pm 
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russellcannings wrote:
There is a male Bufflehead x Common Goldeneye hybrid that has spent at least the last three winters along the Kitsilano waterfront (usually between Jericho and Kits Beach)-- I suspect this would be the same bird, and could very well be the same bird that Mike photographed.

Russ Cannings
Burnaby, BC

Cool, that sounds like it is the same individual. It's interesting that they stay at the same beach each year. I wonder if the hybrid will try and create any backcrosses. When I saw him, he was alone, with a tight flock of goldeneyes a little ways away.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 16 9:21 pm 
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Interesting that I saw a mutt today in False Creek near Fisherman's Wharf just west of Granville Island-I say mutt because it was some kind of barnyard/wild cross with a buff head and large ungainly body.

Sorry no pic but I logged in tonight just to see if anyone else had seen this creature.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitsilano and duck hybrid
PostPosted: Mar 23 4:58 pm 
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Location: Port Alberni BC
There was one of these hybrids for three winters near the mouth of the Somass River in Port Alberni. Image


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