Chicago Sun-Times
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Wild Thursday: Black-bellied whistling duck at Hennepin-Hopper

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There was or is a black-bellied whistling duck at Hennepin-Hopper lakes.

hennepinhopper7-01-06

On IBET, the birding network for Illinois, I saw a report by Doug Stotz, conservation ecologist/ornithologist for the Field Museum, that the site manager had seen the black-bellied whistling duck.

I hadn't talked to site super Rick Seibert in awhile, so it gave me an excuse to catch up.

``There was no mistaking it,'' Seibert said.

After it was kicked up Tuesday--he was out with two others, one of whom is also a good duck person--he checked in his Sibley field guide.

``You know how it is when you see something unusual,'' he said. ``The orange bill really stuck out. And the patches on the wings.''

Here's the description pulled from the online listing for black-bellied whistling ducks by Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

``A striking and gregarious duck of the Neotropics, the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck reaches the United States only in the very southern parts. Its long neck, long legs, black belly, and white wing patch make it a distinctive-looking waterfowl.''

Hennepin-Hopper is just south of Hennepin, about half an hour from Starved Rock. I highly recommend using any excuse, even this sighting, to stop by and see the site.

There's such things as a white-faced ibis too. Seibert said traditionally this is about the time the hummingbirds really start showing up.

The site story and directions are posted here.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 21, 2008 9:20 AM.

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