Archive | December 9, 2012

Additions to the Winter List

Black-backed Woodpecker

Black-backed Woodpecker


Last week a first-year male Harlequin Duck was discovered on the Ottawa River in the channel between Bate Island and the Gatineau shore. While this is not the first time a Harlequin Duck has been seen in the Ottawa area, it is only the second one to appear here since I started birding in 2006. I got my “lifer” Harlequin Duck on December 22, 2007 in the exact same location, a female. Others have wintered along the rapids at Strathcona Park in previous years, including a female which over-wintered there for five years straight beginning in 2000. Harlequin Ducks are primarily found in fast-moving water, breeding on fast-flowing mountain streams in British Columbia and Labrador, and wintering along rocky coastlines or turbulent rivers. The rapids near Bate Island and at Strathcona Park do not freeze in the winter, making it an attractive spot for many different ducks, including Harlequins, in the winter.

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