Friday, June 22, 2012

Muscovy Duck Dance

I finally discovered the identity of the ducks I saw dancing and throat singing last week. They are Muscovy.  You can't really hear the male's thoat hissing well in these two videos below, but you can see their fascinating habit of head bobbing.

I'm including a couple of duck poems, one funny, one serious. Enjoy Poetry Friday. Amy hosts the roundup is at the Poem Farm.

The Duck
Ogden Nash

Behold the duck.
It does not cluck.
A cluck it lacks.
It quacks.
It is specially fond
Of a puddle or pond.
When it dines or sups,
It bottoms ups.

John Masefield

Twilight. Red in the West.
Dimness. A glow on the wood.
The teams plod home to rest.
The wild duck come to glean.
O souls not understood,
What a wild cry in the pool;
What things have the farm ducks seen
That they cry so--huddle and cry?
Only the soul that goes.
Eager. Eager. Flying.
Over the globe of the moon,
Over the wood that glows.
Wings linked. Necks a-strain,
A rush and a wild crying.

A cry of the long pain
In the reeds of a steel lagoon,
In a land that no man knows.



  1. Ogden Nash does such a good job of approaching things sideways... this poem reminds me to go in with what something is NOT, or something the thing does NOT do. So thank you. xo

    1. Nash has always fascinated me. Sideways is a good way to describe his perspective.

  2. Wonderful to read your duck poems on the web :D. Sorry, couldn't resist . . .

    Love your pairing of funny with serious. Hadn't seen the Masefield poem before -- beautiful. Thanks for the videos,too. Shall have to practice my duck calls this weekend.

  3. Thanks for solving the duck mystery from before, Doraine!

    What an interesting pairing of poems today. Thank you for offering emotions from across the spectrum; brilliant writing in each.

    1. You know, I really liked the short, abrupt lines/sentences in the two poems and the different effects they achieved.

  4. I can't decide if the head bobbing is an argument or only an animated conversation. You'd think they would tire of the constant bobbing. Ogden Nash is amazingly apt; makes my wonder about my own ability to put words together. The Masefield lines take a different look at the cry don't they? One's mood can color what happens in the words, I think. Thank you for the thoughtful post, Dori.

    1. According to the scientists, the head bobbing is a form of communication.

  5. What fascinating ducks those Muscovys are! The adult male looks like he aspired to be a turkey (his head anyway). The neck twitch looks uncomfortable.

    The Masefield poem is mysterious. I have never thought of ducks as bearing painful secrets. Our local ducks appear much more shallow than that--totally preoccupied with food, sleep and, in season, protecting their babies.


    1. When I saw the two on the lake doing this dance, it was a dead ringer for the throat singers in my last poetry Friday post. I agree with your assessment. Most of the ducks I've encountered are definitely self-centered creatures.

  6. It's such fun to read two very different duck poems. Just this morning, we watched some ducklings following their mama at a local pond. They reminded us all of the kittens we're fostering - fuzzy and wide-eyed. I always think animals are mysterious...

    1. There are plenty of fuzzy, wide-eye babies at this local park with hissing mamas, but I haven't seen any following the single Muscovy pair.