Garganey (Spatula querquedula)—it’s a big word for a duck small enough to fit in your cupped hands. But, until 1957, you could only see them by being in the right spot at the right time—the wetlands of Europe and Central Asia or the subtropical marshes, ponds, and lakes of southern Asia and central Africa.
Something changed in 1957, and for the first time a garganey was spotted in the U.S. Wildlife officials assumed that the reports of sightings that started showing up every few years were escapees from parks and zoos. Something changed again in the 1970s, and these one-pound ducks were recorded somewhere on the North American continent just about every year, and even today nobody really knows why they visit.
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