On December 20th, an extremely rare bird was sighted in the Freshwater Lagoon in California. Unaware of the excitement he was causing, a male Common Pochard swam between the dozens and dozens of redhead and canvasback ducks that usually live in those waters. The Common Pochard is indeed a common duck, but not in the Americas – it is known to live and breed in Asia, Europe and Northern Africa and had only been recorded in North America twice - until December of this year.
Code 3 on the American Birding Association checklist, it is considered “ultra” rare by birders that, once allerted to its presence, drove hundreds of miles, boarded planes and took days off work to see the bird.
Unfortunately for him, he has chosen a dangerous place to overwinter: Freshwater Lagoon is in a legal hunting zone and although most hunters understand that a bird like this should be protected so that more passionate birders can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, a minority would prefer to see him shot and mounted on their walls.
That is why we ask that the Freshwater Lagoon and any surrounding area that the incredibly rare Common Pochard might stray into be considered a non-hunting zone. This bird, who has travelled far and wide to reach California, must be protected!
Dear Mr. Souza,
although not an endangered species, the Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) is an extremely rare migrant in North America. Already flocks (pardon my pun) of birders have travelled miles to see this once-in-a-lifetime sighting and many more will come.
By protecting the area in which he has decided to stay, not only will you gain the trust and admiraiton of most animal lovers and environmental advocates, you will also be promoting a strong, inter-state tourism based on one single duck.
Please consider our plea to stop all hunting in the Freshwater Lagoon in Humbodlt County, California. Make the right decision and save the Pochard's life!
The Care2 Team