Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::

Illinois hunting and fishing

A young male surf scoter has been sitting on a pond in Carlinville for eight days. Photo by Chris Young.

Unusual duck sits out trip up north

May 28, 2011 at 08:50 PM

The State Journal-Register

It’s clear from the surf scoter’s name this is one duck that shouldn’t be paddling around a pond on the south edge of Carlinville.

The surf scoter is a sea duck that spends its winters along coastal areas of North America and breeds on lakes in the boreal forest in Canada and Alaska — and that’s where it should be by now.

Ed Zalisko, a biology professor at Blackburn College, was watching the unusual black bird with the large white and orange bill ride out a hailstorm Wednesday on the five-acre pond behind his home.

“When I first saw this guy, he was sitting out there during the hailstorm,” Zalisko said. “He had his head tucked into the feathers of his back like he was sleeping.”

After some Internet research, he found, a Website that allows birders to post sightings of unusual birds.

He posted a picture with his thoughts on the identification. In no time, he had confirmation the bird was a surf scoter.

H. David Bohlen, assistant curator of zoology at the Illinois State Museum, says a few stragglers are still passing through on migration.

“I’m still seeing scaup and ruddy ducks on Lake Springfield,” he said.

Young adults that have not yet reached sexual maturity sometimes stay behind and skip the long trip to the breeding grounds.

“Terns, in particular, tend to do that,” Bohlen said.

The scoter outside Zalisko’s window appears to be a young male because it is lacking a pair of white spots on its head that would signify a mature adult.

Vicki Hedrick is a neighbor of Zalisko’s and an experienced birder.

She says the rolling wooded hills and valleys of the neighborhood make it a great place to see birds, but the surf scoter is the most unusual so far.

“The neighborhood attracts a fair number of migrants, including numerous warbler species, vireos, flycatchers, both oriole species, tanagers, cuckoos and others,” she said. “I suspect that because so much native vegetation remains, our neighborhood is quite the bird magnet.”

At first glance the black duck could be mistaken for a common American coot, a bird easily ruled out upon closer inspection of the scoter’s large, colorful bill.

“I read on the Internet that he has a ‘Roman nose,’” he said. “I like that description.”

Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Awesome opportunity for you!  That’s an “exotic” duck by Central Illinois standards!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/31 at 10:15 AM

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: FishinPals ministry starts tenth year

Previous entry: Illinois River flooding closes some riverfront areas of Starved Rock

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

February 2020
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons