National Wildlife Refuge System

Rare Duck Returns to Colusa Refuge

A rare falcated duck has returned to Colusa Refuge, CA
Credit: Mike Peters/USFWS
This falcated duck has returned to the same pond it used last year at Colusa Refuge, CA.
Credit: Mike Peters/USFWS

A rare falcated duck has returned to Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, in the Sacramento Valley of north central California. Refuge manager Mike Peters had predicted the Asian waterfowl might find its way back to the refuge, where it first appeared last year.
The duck was first spotted in early December last year. Visitors came to the refuge from around the country and even overseas to see the duck. This year, the duck has been seen almost every day since the beginning of December. It is using the same pond that it used last year, next to the wildlife observation deck convenient for visitors. Peters says wildlife viewing is much better on sunny days when many more birds return from their nightly feeding flights to the rice fields. A moderate but steady stream of visitors is coming to see the duck.
The falcated duck is closely related to the wigeon and is about the size of a gadwall. It is named for the sickle-shaped wing feathers that overhand the tail. 
In addition to this rare duck, Colusa Refuge provides wintering habitat for up to 150,000 ducks and 100,000 geese.

Last updated: December 20, 2012