Along with the arrival of the stately Canada Geese each Spring at Wachusett Meadow, I look forward to the quiet presence of the brilliantly iridescent male Mallard and the subtly colored female Mallard with her surprising blue spot. I especially enjoy the spunky Hooded Mergansers, the male flaunting his bold stripes, and both male and female sporting their punk hairdos.
Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way For Ducklings” (1941) is a classic children’s story of a mallard couple who raise a family in a park in Boston, Massachusetts. When I was a primary school teacher, I read this imaginative book dozens of times to my students.
It was wonderful to pass a peaceful hour observing a real mallard couple at the Audubon. Their vibrant colors, patterns and serene presence were delightful. It was easy to understand why McCloskey chose to feature these creatures in his story.