Kees Moeliker, ornithologist and curator of the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam, who was awarded an IgNobel back in 2003 — the tongue-in-cheek awards of Improbable Research — for writing about “The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard”, has recently had his book ‘De eendenman’ (The Duck Guy’, or Man) translated into German.
Not only is “Der Entenmann: Von Spatzenklöten, aussterbenden Filzläusen und nekrophilen Enten. Mysteriöse Todesfälle aus dem Tierreich” now available to the German-savvy population, the book is presented here by Moeliker himself in German.
Also known as ‘The Duck Guy’, Moeliker does give talks in English, but his book has yet to be translated into English or anything else than German at this point. However, if you’re in the Netherlands, you can visit the preserved remains of one of the ducks at the museum. The best time to visit is on June 5, when the museum and the city of Rotterdam celebrate Dead Duck Day, on the anniversary of the incident, involving two ducks and a glass wall.
Feeding bread to ducks and other birds is part of the scenery in this country, but many of us don’t realise how bad it is for the birds and our water.
The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) is asking residents of the Netherlands to report (not rat out!) instances of feeding ducks (Google form) to get an idea of where and how often this happens. According to the NIOO-KNAW, there’s a discrepancy between what we say that we do and what we think the effect is, and they are trying to get a handle on it by asking people to help out.
Bread in water produces algae that is bad for the quality of the water and therefore for the birds. Bread is also bad food for ducks because besides not being a natural food source for them, it lack many nutrients ducks need and it’s full of salt.
Not feeding ducks is extremely easy to do as well.
Kees Moeliker, curator of the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam, was awarded an IgNobel back in 2003 — the tongue-in-cheek awards of Improbable Research — for writing about “The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard.”
On 5 June 1995 an adult male mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) collided with the glass façade of the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam and died. An other drake mallard raped the corpse almost continuously for 75 minutes. Then the author disturbed the scene and secured the dead duck. Dissection showed that the rape-victim indeed was of the male sex. It is concluded that the mallards were engaged in an ‘Attempted Rape Flight’ that resulted in the first described case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard.
This year Dead Duck Day will be celebrated on the lawn next to the new glass pavilion of the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam at 17:55 sharp, the actual time the duck lost his life on that historic day in 1995. The historic stuffed necro-duck will be at the event, owned by Moeliker himself. They’ll be a discussion about finding new ways to prevent birds from colliding with glass and more news about dead ducks.
Don’t miss out on the traditional six-course duck dinner at the Chinese restaurant around the corner afterwards.
And if you have room for dessert, enjoy this six-minute movie about the two colliding ducks.
Rotterdam artist Florentijn Hofman basically explains that the rubber duck is friendly and makes people happy. We spotted his work in Amsterdam once back in January 2008 and this video shows us what the port of Osaka looks like with a whole bunch of rubber ducks.