Duck Perceptions
By Mark Linggi and Mallard Duck(s)

Started on: 06/07/10 13:10:04
Medium: Visual

Spending as much available time with the ducks, I feel as if I have learned more about who they are. For one thing, the ducks really enjoy their privacy.

There have been several occasions when I just sat with the ducks, not very close, but giving them space. I would try to notice the ducks without them noticing that I was noticing them. But not only did I pay attention to the ducks, but the other people around as well.

One particular time, the two ducks were underneath their favorite tree. While they were there, two skateboarders came rolling by. I thought the ducks would be immediately startled and get up and go towards the tangled bushes (a place where the ducks go where they are bugged too much or suddenly). Surprisingly, the ducks did nothing. They just sat there, comfortable as always.

As the day passed on, more people just kept walking past. Many of them didn't pay any attention to the ducks, and they were perfectly ok with that. However, when someone made eye contact with the ducks and got close to them, they would respond in this manner:

1. The male would quack
2. The male would adjust himself, typically his wings.
3. The male, then female, would rise and slowly start to trot in place.
4. If the human still persisted, the ducks would both waddle away, quacking.

After these series of events, like I said before, they would go towards the tangled bushes. At this time, the female would pick through the dirt, probably looking for some worms or insects. However, what I thought was most curious was that the male would almost stand guard. He would stand erect, looking around as the two ventured into the bushes. It seemed to me that it was if he was on the lookout, making sure that she was safe. Although this could also be me just romanticizing the duck couple again to be an actual type of couple.

Jen and I decided to do another experiment based off these observations. We both walked by, pretending not to look at the ducks. The ducks seem to be doing fine. The next time we walked by though, we both stared, and the ducks seemed agitated and began to quack. I feel as if this just tells us that the ducks like their privacy and just want to relax together in a comfortable peace.
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