Release the Shelduck!

ducks in Duke Gardens

A new collection of waterfowl has joined the Asiatic Pond menagerie in Duke Gardens.  Pictured, assistant Duke Gardens horticulturist Michael Patrick, releases a common shelduck into the pond at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens this past Friday.

The waterfowl are from Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck, N.C. The new collection includes one female black-necked swan, and the following ducks: 2 male common shelducks; a pair each of northern pintails, canvasbacks, red-crested pochards, common white-eyed ducks, hooded mergansers, Australian shelducks and North American wood ducks; and one male Mandarin duck.

Duke Gardens asks that visitors refrain from feeding the waterfowl, or -- if you really want to feed them -- to use the 50-cent-a-bag duck food from the Terrace Shop. Human food like bread can be very harmful to these creatures' digestive systems.

Below: Paul Jones, curator of the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum and horticulturist Michelle Rawlins hold a pair of canvasback ducks as they prepare to release the pair

Photos by Megan Morr/Duke University Photography

ducks in Duke Gardens