Week 6 & 7: Duck project update
By Jennifer Lee Lin, Mark Linggi and Ducks (Mallard)(s)

Started on: 06/07/10 09:10:21
Medium: Visual

Mark and I tried interacting with the ducks. We basically went to the lawn of the arts building near the broken fountain. we have found that the ducks prefer shade on sunny days and are very sedate. I researched duck breeding/coupling and was somewhat disappointed to find that ducks only stay together in couples until after the eggs are laid. I hope that these UCSB ducks will be different, as we like to romanticize them.

We tried sitting about 7 feet away from them, and remained still until they seemed comfortable with us there, then tried moving a foot closer. The male duck got nervous and started quacking so we stopped. We then started a process of sitting still for intervals of 15 minutes, and then inching closer and closer. we reached about 4-5 feet away until we decide to stop, realizing that the ducks were stressed. we did not wish to invade in their private space.

the ducks walking away from us into a patch of high weeds and grass growing by some trees against the wall of the arts building

the arts building duck couple resting underneath their favorite shade spot

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Project Updates
06/07/10 09:33:08 - Duck privacy?

"Duck Seeks Help for Her Children

So often we hear of so-called animal lovers speaking of how much they love animals, while at the same time they will be eating a hamburger or munching on a piece of fried chicken, or some other part of an animal. There is an inconsistency in our mental attitude toward animals, and because of this we consider them to be inferior beings to us.

The following article, which appeared in the Canadian Press, Friday, July 13, 2001 - Page A5, gives us an example of how wrong we are:

VANCOUVER -- A civilian member of the Vancouver police has a new take on the term "bird brains" after a duck pestered him until he helped rescue its eight ducklings trapped in a storm sewer.

Ray Petersen was walking directly under the Granville Bridge on Wednesday when the duck grabbed him by the pant leg.

Then it waddled around him, quacking.

"I thought it was a bit goofy, so I shoved it away," Mr. Petersen said yesterday.

But the duck, likely a mallard, wouldn't give up. Making sure it still had Mr. Petersen's eye, it waddled up the road about 20 metres and lay on a storm-sewer grate. Mr. Petersen watched and thought nothing of it. "But when I started walking again, she did the same thing. She ran around and grabbed me again."

So when it waddled off to the sewer grate a second time, Mr. Petersen followed.

"I went up to where the duck was lying and saw eight little babies in the water below. They had fallen down between the grates."

Mr. Petersen phoned police Sergeant Randy Kellens, who brought in two constables. "When they came down, the duck ran around them as well, quacking," Mr. Petersen said. "Then she lay down on the grate."

While Sgt. Kellens looked into the grate, the duck sat on the curb and watched. The two constables marshalled a tow truck that lifted the grate out, allowing the ducklings to be picked up, one by one, with a vegetable strainer.

"While we were doing this, the mother duck just lay there and watched," Mr. Petersen said.

Once they were safe, however, she marched down to False Creek, where they jumped in.

This mother duck put her life on the line to save her eight children. When God gave us the concession to eat animal flesh, He also put the fear of us in them as a way of protecting them from our hardness of heart (Genesis 9:2-3). Despite this, Mother Duck sought out human help to save her children, for she had no other option. This duck had the intelligence to understand and reason out her options and risks. She made an intelligent choice.

I personally like to think that God played a role in this, too, by sending this duck to Ray Petersen, who He knew would help her, or by giving her the power to discern the intent of the person she asked for help."

I found this story very surprising and delightful. I think it shows the love that a duck can have for its young. In my experience with most ducks is that they avoid humans (unless you feed them) and for a mother duck to put herself in the direct relation to humans when she must find it frightening and uncomfortable and dangerous in order to find help for her young is very incredible and selfless.

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