July 25, 2023
With the imminent launch of 50 Ducks and the forthcoming banding of our first flock of ducks, we can feel the excitement in the air. The time ahead is filled with necessary preparations as we’re persistently troubleshooting our website and fine-tuning our platform to ensure a flawless user experience. Amid this flurry of activity, we’re also co-authoring an academic paper with our esteemed partner and friend, Manuel. We look forward to sharing more updates on the journey of three Fulvous Whistling-Ducks in the coming months. So, without further ado, let’s delve into it.
On the evening of July 24th, around 8 pm, Manuel and I found ourselves engrossed in one of our usual exchanges. Amid discussions about Manuel’s perpetually soggy footwear and the need for a more reliable pair of waders, we inevitably ventured down the path of our forthcoming journey. We are planning a large-scale banding expedition to Baja, an adventure that promises to be as rewarding as it is challenging. For those of you who share our excitement, be sure to stay tuned for an impressive fleet of west coast pintails making their website debut this winter.
Sandwiched between our animated discussions on the majestic allure of pintails and the plight of Manuel’s damp feet, I was thrilled to receive a text. It was an image that spoke a thousand words: a snapshot of our newest 50 Ducks recruit, lovingly christened Después de Ocho, or Ocho for short. Manuel, always one for meaningful monikers, named him “after eight,” a nod to both the time of his capture and his weight, which just tipped over 800 grams.
While my own mind had been toying with the idea of a more enigmatic name, like Dr. Duck, I found myself equally captivated by the simplicity and significance of Después Ocho. There was an undeniable charm to it, a name that immediately evoked the image of a lovingly banded duck in the heart of Mexico.
Ocho holds the honor of being our first Mexican Duck (MEDU) that we’ll be tagging this season in the ever-expanding vicinity of Mexico City. The city’s boundaries are continuously stretching, much like many major metropolitan areas situated along crucial migration routes across the continent. Our mission is to meticulously compare the flight paths of MEDU from both the eastern and western flanks of this massive city. Our goal is to gain a deeper understanding of how urban expansion influences their behavior and migratory patterns.
So, as we embark on this thrilling new chapter, I urge you to stay tuned for more details on Ocho’s journey. We’ll be sharing updates and fascinating insights into his adventures in the coming months and years. And as we plunge headfirst into this mission of conservation, we invite you to follow along, sharing in the joy and discovery that these beautiful creatures bring to our lives. The adventure has only just begun! And as for Manuel’s persistently wet feet… that’s an adventure he must tackle alone. But every journey begins with a first step… even if that step is a little soggy.
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