Do ducks remember?

When Pepper, the dog , and I walk past the dam on our morning constitutional the ducks don’t usually take any notice of us.

But for the past week or two they’ve taken fright and flown away.

Is this just conicidence or do they remember last year’s duck shooting season and know that it’s opening day today?

4 Responses to Do ducks remember?

  1. Gravedodger says:

    Memory is probably a bit strong but certainly instinctive reaction to the buildup of preparations of the hunters as they resurrect the mai mais, start feeding and the other subtle signs of impending disaster. Memory would cause altered flight patterns that are wholly influenced by air, light and vegetation. Meanwhile I will stay warm,dry and comfortable while I await my friendly youthful hunter gatherer types to deliver a few skinned duck breasts for me to remember past enthusiastic forays. Bit like my whitebaiting I suppose where a couple of hundred bucks replace my memories of cold wet discomfort. Am I sensible or just plain bloody lazy, no don’t respond to that, I already know the answer.

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  2. Paul Corrigan says:

    When I grew up in various parts of rural New Zealand in the 50s and 60s I noticed how when the duck-shooting season arrived ducks did two things: where possible they flew higher and faster, and they congregated on ponds and lakes in greater numbers than in the off-season.

    They seemed to know.

    My grandmother used to say she had first observed the changes when she lived in rural Marlborough in the 1880s.

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  3. Bill Green says:

    We in the Green Party believe that all living things have feelings and memories, even trees (for reference – tree’s always grow away from the wind, and have rings that reflect history).

    So if a tree can remember, why why why would a duck not understand the return of Armageddon.

    When the buying stops, so to will the killing.

    Bill

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  4. Rob Hosking says:

    Some years ago I lived near a small lake which didn’t allow shooting.

    Most of the time there were a few ducks on it, but nothing remarkable.

    The last week of April, though, it began to fill up.

    Come May 1, I reckon if you went down there and yelled ‘orange sauce’ the air would have been thick with feathers.

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