November 28, 2011 in Outdoors

White Christmas duck returns to Riverfront Park

She’s back! A wood duck once again is bringing the “White Christmas” spirit to Riverfront park. Some have speculated it’s an albino, others have suggested the duck with the pink eye rings is a leucistic bird in disguise. The bird often is seen feeding among mallards during late fall and winter in the Spokane River between the Opera House and Carousel. Wild wood ducks normally migrate from the Spokane-North Idaho area around mid-October. But local birding expert and breeder Dennis Dahlke provided the scoop on the white woodie. “This white duck is a captive bred female wood duck,” he said. “She is not albino, just a color variation. Belonged to a friend of ours. Coyotes helped her escape when they killed most of the other ducks in that pen during winter (2009-2010).” The woody is smaller than the mallards she paddles around with, but she holds her own — she’s not afraid to take after bigger birds that get in her way. Back for at least the third year, she’s clearly a survivor.

 

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