Friday, January 04, 2008

Random Bird Fact of the Day

I recently picked up Peter Matthiessen's Wildlife in America at a local book sale. I had never seen this book even though it was originally published in 1959. It tells the history of man in North America and their impact to its wildlife. I'm only about 100 pages in, but it's been very interesting to read. There have been newer editions printed into the 70's that provide updates to some rediscovered species. Here's an interesting fact (or facts) that I learned:

The Labrador Duck (which you've probably heard of), believed to be the first North American bird to go extinct after 1500, was named after its breeding area - the Canadian area of Labrador. BUT, the nest of the bird was never described by science so we don't know for sure if they actually bred there. We do know that it wintered from Nova Scotia south to Chespapeake Bay. If I had lived 150 years ago or so, I could have probably added one to my Sandy Hook list! This duck was also known as the Pied Duck, Sand Shoal Duck, and Skunk Duck.

6 comments:

P. Ollig said...

Have you ever seen the movie "Rare Birds" starring William Hurt? It's a great, little-known film set in Newfoundland where some restaurant owners come up with a plan to lure visitors to their dying town. I won't ruin it for you, but the visitors they have in mind are birders chasing something thought to be extinct.

Patrick Belardo said...

A movie about birders? And with William Hurt no less? Who knew!? It's now part of my Netflix queue!

Patrick Belardo said...

A movie about birders? And with William Hurt no less? Who knew!? It's now part of my Netflix queue!

P. Ollig said...

Well, it's only sort of about birders, in a roundabout sort of way. It's kind of a weird movie, but I look back on it fondly.

Grant said...

Wow! I'm going to have to check that movie out.

And thanks for the note on the Matthiessen book. I had wondered if it was any good. I've only read his book on Cranes, but it was great.

Patrick Belardo said...

Grant, I read the crane book as well. This one is just as good!