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#234 Baer's Pochard

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 26

We would probably be off the coast of Thailand with Phileas Fogg now, but these small diving ducks live in the area that the tour will be for passing through for quite a while. They migrate from Russia down to Thailand, China, and other countries in the area. In 2008 they were classified as endangered, and then "upgraded" to critically endangered by 2012. There are likely fewer than 700 left, and their numbers are still declining. There are a few captive breeding programs, but that does not seem to have slowed the decline in numbers. Their biggest threats are over hunting and collection of eggs and the loss of wetland habitat. The males have a black green head with white blue eyes while the female is more brown and has brown eyes.

There are a lot of birds quite happy with us, I wish they included crows. We have close to 10 different kinds of birds that are coming to our feeder. The suet was totally frozen this morning so I put out some cereal. We don't have loose birdseed right now, just peanuts for the jays and potential crows. I was worried the small birds that can't eat peanuts wouldn't be able to manage with frozen suet and wanted to have something out there for them. We have a little bit of snow, and there is currently a bit of light freezing rain coming down right now. It isn't enough to build a snow man or a fort. My dream is to have enough snow to build a fort before the kids move out on their own. It is looking as if to do that we are going to have to head up to the mountain for that much snow. I do worry about the animals here though, they aren't used to cold weather like those in other states are. I can't imagine what it is like as a bird to be happy, weather is in the 50's and 60's and then suddenly it is in the 20's and there is ice and snow. It must be so confusing.

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