Friday, April 17, 2009

Return of the Pink-Headed Duck?

Ornithologists have long wondered about the fate of Asia's pink-headed duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea). There have been only scattered sighting reports since 1936, none of them universally accepted, and some experts believe the species is extinct.
Birder Richard Thorns was the latest person to go pink-head-hunting. He sent a digital image to Cryptomundo showing what looks tantalizingly like a pink-headed duck, although Thorns is cautious in saying only that he is trying to identify the bird in the image. At the least, this should spark some interest in further expeditions to this lake in northern Myanmar to find out if the duck is indeed still with us.
COMMENT: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.... OK, never mind the old saying. It DOES look like a pink-headed duck, although the distance and magnification required gives us an image that is not quite distinct enough to identify the bird for certain. Here's a toast to hope.

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