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On Seeing Musk Duck At Hopkins River

Posted Saturday 6th March 2010 at 20:52 by Francis Duggan
So little about them I can claim to know
Though my wonder at their ways only seem to grow
From where they live one can hear the ocean tide
In the Hopkins River the musk duck reside.

Though I've seen their kind much further inland at Hamilton Lake
And I can recognize the female from the drake
With a lobe of flesh on his chin under his bill
That at his own whims he can deflate or fill.

In her nest of lichen and reeds lined with down midst water reeds the female her eggs does lay
And without help from the male bird in any way
She raises her one to two ducklings which she often swims with on her back
Perhaps as a precaution against predator attack.

Dark brown to gray diving ducks them I seldom do see
Though I've seen them at Hopkins River quite close to the sea
And miles further inland at Hamilton Lake
The male from the female one could never mistake
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