Readers’ wildlife photos (and art)

Today, lest any reader be overlooked because their photos were posted on a holiday, I’ll put some of my own up: photos of both wild mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) from France as well as French art depicting mallards.

Here are the fat ducks of Chartres. The river runs fast, and the mallards position themselves in the middle of the stream and just face upstream with their beaks open. The food comes to them! Here they are in their lovely medieval setting:

and a video:

Mallards in a medieval tapestry, the Museum of the Middle Ages at the Hotel Cluny:


Duck in a painting, store in the Palais Royal arcade:


In the gardens of the Luxembourg Palace is a pond, and in that pond there are ducks, and those ducks have a fancy metal duck house to repair to for sleep or when they’re bothered.

Note the care with which this house was constructed. It’s sturdy metal, has low platform for easy access, and has spikes on the top to prevent ravens and other predators (or pigeons, who could befoul the house) from landing:

Some of the mallards of the Luxembourg lake.

Shhhhhh. . . . . the drake is sleeping

Ducks in the Musée d’Orsay:

Part of a painting in the “Orientalism” section:

A brass duck for sale on the Quai Voltaire:


And a reminder of why the French really love ducks:



  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Have never seen a duck house like that out on the water. If they nest there it should be much safer than on land.

  2. CAS
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    “Mallards in a medieval tapestry”
    They couldn’t accurately represent either cats or ducks.

  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Lucky ducks! Except for the one that is diagrammed for the kitchen.

  4. leonkrier
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    After visiting the cathedral, I meandered down the pathway and walked along the stream. It was an unexpected delight…so peaceful and hardly any people. Chartres is a great day-trip from Paris via train.

  5. rickflick
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how much interbreeding there is between North American mallards and European ducks? There must be some because it doesn’t look like they have diverged significantly. On the other hand, song birds in Europe are much different that those I’ve seen stateside.

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful post!!!

  7. Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Wow, not just a bird house, but one for specific types.

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