National Wildlife Refuge System

Duck Calling Champion

Credit: Kevin Lowry, USFWS

Aaron deVenecia is the first place winner of the inaugural duck calling contest at Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge, WI.  The 11-year-old fifth grader participated in the refuge's three-day course on waterfowl identification, which concluded with a duck calling competition.

Whittlesey Creek Refuge visitor services manager Kevin Lowry teaches a three-day waterfowl course for hunter-certified youngsters age 10 to 15. They learn how to identify waterfowl by sight and sound, silhouette, wing beats, flock patterns and behavior. Next year’s course will be open to all birders, hunters, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. 

Local birding club members judge the duck calling contest. Lowry says contestants were judged on their ability to summon a flight of ducks using each of the following four calls: long-distance call, mating call, feeding call and comeback call.  The emphasis is on difficulty, accuracy and repetition.

Additional photos at

Last updated: September 23, 2010