[midvalleybirds] Fwd: [corvallis-birding] PPP mystery duck continues

Nancy Stotz nstotznew at gmail.com
Fri Nov 8 08:59:58 PST 2019

Thanks to Hendrik for following up and finding the proverbial needle in the
haystack of waterfowl at the Philomath Sewage Ponds. See forwarded messages
Nancy Stotz

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Hendrik Herlyn <hhactitis at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 6:45 PM
Subject: [corvallis-birding] PPP mystery duck continues

Hi all,

I was able to relocate Nancy's possible TUDU (or more likely hybrid) on the
NW pond today. Based on the bits of white on the face at the base of the
bill, my photos confirm that it is the same bird. It has a very short,
tuft-like crest at the back of the head, a mix between a female TUDU
tuftlet and the topknot of a Lesser Scaup, which was not visible at all
times. Most of the time, the head appeared completely tuftless.

The head seems rounder and flatter than in a regular LESC, but not as big
and round as a TUDU (or a GRSC). In flight, the bird showed a lot of white
in the wing, extending well down the primaries, unlike a LESC and quite
consistent with TUDU or GRSC. The eye is pale yellowish, not as striking as
the bright eyes of (most/all?) TUDUs, and the bill, as I said yesterday, is
lacking the large, black nail and pale subterminal band of a typical TUDU
(although some photos on the internet and elsewhere indicate that some
female TUDUs may have a reduced bill pattern, similar to the PPP bird).

I still don't think that this bird is a pure Tufted Duck (much as I wish I
could turn it into one!!), but I wouldn't be surprised if it has TUDU in
its ancestry. Possibly a TUDU x Greater Scaup hybrid, based on overall
appearance, wing pattern, bill, etc. (some hybrids of that ilk (mostly
males) I found in the internet show a head shape consistent with that of
the PPP bird).

For what it's worth, I'll post a few photos on eBird later, once eBird is
back online and I can finally submit today's checklists. A confusing bird,

There was also a nice male Greater Scaup on the NW pond today, and a female
Common Goldeneye was on the SE pond. One Blue-winged Teal is tenaciously
hanging on with a small pod of Cinnamons. 75+ Canvasback seems like a
pretty high number.

Happy waterfowling!


As promised earlier, here is a link to my eBird checklist with a few photos
of the Aythya hybrid:


Hendrik G. Herlyn
Corvallis, OR

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