RARE BIRD SPOTTED AT PRATT HATCHERY
A pair of black-bellied whistling ducks was verified at noon Friday, July 10, near Pratt. KDWP employee Duane Panek spotted the birds on the Pratt Hatchery ponds.
Ken Brunson, KDWP nongame biologist, verified and photographed the unusual ducks. They have been recorded only 19 times in Kansas since 1956. The ducks are easy to distinguish by their red bills, long necks, and white eye rings. In flight, prominent white wing patches stand out against black wings.
Though the Pratt Fish Hatchery is restricted to access, birders might view the birds from state highway K-64 which borders the hatchery ponds. As of Friday morning, the birds were seen on a pond nearest the highway at the hatchery’s west end.