A natural situation

This letter is in response to the Morning Star article Nov. 30 about an influx of dead ducks on Kalamalka Lake...

This letter is written in response to the Morning Star article Nov. 30 about an influx of dead ducks on Kalamalka Lake and inconclusive speculation that deaths may be a direct result of fungus-laden seed consumption.

The dead ducks are mallards and indeed there are a lot of them to be found around the north end of Kalamalka Lake, even piling up in some areas (e.g. at the Vernon Creek outtake).

However, to see dead ducks is not unusual at this time of year and in a majority of instances, the carcasses themselves are found totally devoid of anything edible.

Bones, feathers and sometimes the bird’s neck are all that remains.

If one spends time watching birds on the lake, you will see raptors consuming (and if you’re lucky capturing) the hapless mallards, often tearing them apart at the same location (e.g. near the Vernon Creek outtake).

It turns out the overly buoyant “dabblers” are generally slow to take off from the water and evading effective predators (e.g. bald eagles) is difficult for mallards.

It may be that fungus-seed-fed-ducks have a case of indigestion, which further impacts their ability to take off and fly faster than their cohorts, but it is notable that there are three times as many bald eagles in the area this year compared to last year (two adults plus four juveniles vs. two adults, respectively) and they all appear to enjoy duck.

Aaron Deans,

Biologist and resident caretaker

Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary

Coldstream

 

Just Posted

Vernon looks at capping cannabis stores

A 10th business licence application comes before Vernon council Tuesday

Vernon resort seeking connnection to Okanagan Rail Trail

Predator Ridge Resort slated to present wish for trail from resort to ORT to Vernon council

Power outage scuttles – but not ruins – Vernon mission’s Easter meals

Upper Room Mission will serve Easter dinner a day later than planned due to downtown power outage

Mounties identify woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“Our investigators do not believe criminality was involved.”

Netflix filming in Vernon

Multiple downtown locations and scenic areas to star in TV production

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

South Okanagan community bands together on social media after shootings

Many in Penticton have turned to social media to express their condolences

Pacific Poke bowl lovers can get a free taste at the restaurant’s ‘Grand Opening Event’

The restaurant will offer some of its specials Thursday evening at its Kelowna location

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

South Okanagan society looking to bring new racing event to their park

The Desert Park Exhibition Society board is looking into hosting another major event

Youth Shelter Fundraiser encourages kids to play for a good cause

The fundraiser takes place April 27 at the EnergyPlex

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Pelicans spotted in Peachland

Four American white pelicans were caught on camera on Okanagan Lake

EDITORIAL: Time to end a pipeline feud

B.C. would not be the only one to lose if Jason Kenney makes good on his promise to turn off the tap

Most Read