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Flogging a dead duck


Flogging a dead duck
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-05-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Minolta Dimage Z1
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Aquatic Birds - Aves Acuáticas [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-08-04 3:46
Viewed: 5698
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The all glass façade of the extension of the Natuurmuseum in Rotterdam, situated in an urban park, acts - under certain light conditions - as a true mirror. Numerous birds die in collision with the building. Ironic don’t you think, being a nature museum taking lives of animals?

Such was the case on 5 June 1995. The author went downstairs immediately to see if the window was damaged, and saw a drake mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) lying motionless on its belly in the sand. The unfortunate duck apparently had hit the building in full flight at a height of about three meters from the ground. Next to the obviously dead duck, another male mallard (in full adult plumage without any visible traces of moult) was present. He forcibly picked into the back, the base of the bill and mostly into the back of the head of the dead mallard for about two minutes, then mounted the corpse and started to copulate, with great force, almost continuously picking the side of the head. Rather startled, the author watched this scene from close quarters behind the window during which time (75 minutes!) he made some photographs and the mallard almost continuously copulated his dead congener. He dismounted only twice, stayed near the dead duck and picked the neck and the side of the head before mounting again. The first break lasted three minutes and the second break lasted less than a minute. The author disturbed this cruel scene. The necrophilic mallard only reluctantly left his 'mate' when the author had approached him to about five meters, he did not fly away but simply walked off a few meters, weakly uttering series of two-note 'raeb-raeb' calls. The author secured the dead duck and left the museum. The mallard was still present at the site, calling 'raeb-raeb' and apparently looking for his victim (who, by then, was in the freezer).
C.W. Moeliker, Natuurmuseum Rotterdam

Ironic if your think, that the most ordinary duck does extra ordinary things?

carper, RAP, japie, jhm, PDP, Callie, nwoehnl, Esox, danbachmann has marked this note useful
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To Callie: Dark wing duckgerhardt 2 08-04 16:22
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Critiques [Translate]

Just an ordinarry duck, I love here Gerhardt,
Good composition, good colours too. Only a shame that there is some noise. I shall make a WS for you.
good job.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-08-04 5:21]

Interesante imagen Gerhard.
Muy buena perspectiva, hermosos colores (aunque creo un poco saturados) y coincido con Carper sobre la idea que tiene un poco de ruido.
De todas formas... bien hecho!

Interesting image Gerhard.
Very good perspective, beautiful colors (although I create a little saturated) and I agree with Carper on the idea that has a little noise.
In any case... well done!

I love the textures on the front of the duck. You must have been fighting with the sun to get this shot. There is a bit of noise, but I really like the composition. I did a workshop for you and I hope you like it. I used edgefinder to select the dark part of the head and the adjusted the selected levels to be a bit brighter.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2004-08-04 14:18]

Your note is a documentary Gerhard, excellent for school, the WS of carper and japie are lovely too. Nevertheless is you photo lovely Gerhard.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-08-04 14:41]

Great photo ans good story. The close up of the duck has lots of detail, I think the workshops have done very well to clean it up. Excellent.

Beautiful diagonal position of the duck, Gerhard, with crisp details visible in the plumage. The color pattern on the beak is also quite unique. Very nice catch, and as always well annotated.

Hi Gerhard
Today seems like a day when everyone gets the compositions just right. I like the way see is swimming towards you. Not very photogenic due to her colour, but we all live with the idiosyncrasy our subjects. I like the way the water mirrors her movement in what appears to be turning on a dime. Now you have me, I think this is an immature yelly-billed duck, or a mallard female, some feral birds being known in SA. You have to give the answer here.

  • Great 
  • Esox Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 20 N: 344] (972)
  • [2004-08-05 12:38]

Good shot, with great details.
Nice composition and colors.
A little noise, but a nice picture.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • letr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 87 W: 50 N: 47] (130)
  • [2004-08-06 11:01]

Great details and lighting here Gerhard . I like it !!

belle photo vedette pout TN, il a l'oeil vif pour la photo...les couleurs sont bien rendues sur l'eau ...le detail est fantastique....merci pour la note et le partage amicalement BI

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