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Last March I watched a solitary Pekin duck

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make close friends with a mallard

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before matting a bed of grass on the rocky banks of Ridley Park Lake.

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The Pekin, I’ve read, is a domesticated mallard,
bred in China for thousands of years before it was brought to New York in the 187os.

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Paddling through the winter lake,

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some stick close together,

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especially this group of five,

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 which includes one duck curiously colored …
any ideas why?


Update:  A reader’s close observations of these lake ducks lead me to agree that the the curious-looking gray one is, as she points out, an Indian Runner.  For more, see the comments by brookeduffy. Thanks, Brooke!