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Q&A: How the ‘Glory Hole Duck’ survived its plunge, according to the man who videoed it

Rick Fowler, the man who shot the viral video of the "Glory Hole Duck,"says he knows that the bird survived the fall.

NAPA, Calif. — Despite what an official from the Solano Irrigation District said, and what some believe about what happened to the duck in the viral video at the Lake Berryessa "Glory Hole, Rick Fowler said he knows the bird survived.

John Bartell: Did you even know that duck was there in the shot?

Rick Fowler: I didn’t see it at all when we started the video. It just kind of floated into the picture and down the hole.

JB: So, you didn’t even know what you had until it was down the hole?

RF: I did not until it came into the picture.

JB: So just to recap here, the Glory Hole, it's an overflow, sort of a drain for the Monticello dam?

RF: It is.

JB: And it is a very big drain?

RF: It’s 72-feet wide, I believe. Yeah, it’s a big hole.

JB: It drops about 400 feet?

RF: At least a couple hundred feet, I think, yes.

JB: So, the burning question on everyone’s mind is, do you think the duck lived?

RF: The duck definitely did survive. I ran immediately to the other end to see if he came out and what happened. He blew out the other end like a rag doll and I assumed it was dead at that point, but it was not. It was blown to the other side and after a minute or two that thing flew up and landed downstream in calmer water and just shook it off.

JB: So after this, you talked to some biologist and we later found out, well, you knew that this is not just a duck, this is a what?

RF: Cormorant. It is a diving bird. They are well-suited for underwater. They can hold their breath for around 3 to 10 minutes, I believe. Probably nothing more suited to make it through to the other side than a cormorant.

JB: So we can put this to rest now you saw it with your own eyes.

R: I saw it with my own eyes. There was not another bird down there at the outfall anywhere. I watched it fly out of there and fly away.


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