Falcated Duck – Accepted

1. 02 Jan–21 Feb 1969


Upper Newport Bay ORA




2. 19 Mar–09 Apr 2002


Honey Lake Wildlife Area LAS



ph., NAB 56:383, San Miguel & McGrath (2005)

   and 02 Jan–11 Mar 2003





Falcated Duck – Not accepted, identification not established

05 Apr–21 May 1953


San Francisco SF



erroneously published as “Not accepted, natural occurrence questionable”

15 Feb 1998


Gray Lodge Wildlife Area BUT





Falcated Duck

FALCATED DUCK Anas falcata Georgi, 1775

Accepted: 2 (50%)

Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 2

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 0

Color image: none

This duck breeds from southern Siberia south to Mongolia, northeastern China, and northern Japan, and winters primarily in southeastern China and southern Japan. The species occurs very rarely among the Aleutian Islands and casually among the Pribilof Islands of western Alaska. Several records of males along the Pacific coast south of Alaska are generally regarded as acceptable, although none was endorsed by the AOU (1998): two from southwestern British Columbia (Swan Lake 15 April 1932, Brooks 1942; near Tofino three straight winters/springs in the mid 1990s); four from coastal Washington in winter (the latest on 27 February 2005, NAB 59:314); and records that apparently involve a returning bird in western Oregon in 2003/2004, early 2005, 2005/2006, and 2006+ (NAB 58:273, 423; 59:314; 60:127, 426; fide P. E. Lehman). Near Pt. Pelee in southern Ontario, another possibly wild unbanded male was present 28–29 March 1986 (fide A. Wormington).

Assessing the legitimacy of extralimital Falcated Duck records has long posed difficulties. For example, Grinnell and Miller (1944) noted that members of this species “often [appeared] in the live-bird market” and quoted approvingly from Swarth (1932), who advocated treating any Falcated Duck that might be encountered in California “as escaped or released from captivity unless there was absolute proof to the contrary.” Brooks (1942) considered the 1932 British Columbia record to be questionable, citing the abundance of captives in California, but later authors have treated it as valid. A 10 March 2005 query of the International Species Information System yielded listings of 41 captive Falcated Ducks at zoos and other participating institutions in North America, including eight in San Diego County (down from “dozens” at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park in the mid 1990s, fide M. A. Patten), one in Arizona, and two in Washington. Waterfowl breeders in the latter state currently consider the species to be relatively uncommon (fide S. G. Mlodinow).

The natural occurrence of a male Falcated Duck present from 2 January to 21 February 1969 at Upper Newport Bay in Orange County had been questioned previously, but in 2006 the CBRC reversed this decision. One influential factor was the Committee’s acceptance of another male recorded during successive years—19 March–9 April 2002 and 2 January–11 March 2003—at Honey Lake, Lassen County. The CBRC also considered the species’ credible pattern of vagrancy in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon.