Ducks of New Paltz features the friendliest, most adventurous ducks located across the New Paltz area. This
week’s featured ducks were spotted having a family gathering on the Gunk.
Name and Breed
One afternoon, as I was walking along the Gunk, I noticed a raft of ducks floating on the water. A quick Google search lead me to discover they were Mallard ducks, which are the ducks you most often see on water (brown body, green head, yellow beak), as well as on campus, as they seem to be the most prominent breed. I was immediately intrigued by the ducks: while us humans would never dare step foot into the body of water more closely resembling a swamp, these ducks pushed their fears aside and seemed to be having the time of their lives floating away.
About The Ducks
The ducks can be found at any given time floating in or walking alongside the Gunk. While on this particular occasion I spotted them closer to the Hasbrouck complex, I most often see the ducks chilling out in the more picturesque part of the Gunk, near Esopus. Upon observing the ducks, I began to notice a defined family system amongst the clan. One duck, who I took it upon myself to refer to as “Grammy”, seemed to be the eldest. She was perched away from the rest of the ducks, seemingly overseeing her kingdom, if you would.
The Duck’s Pasttimes
The ducks travel together at almost all times in what is called a “raft,” and are for sure a tight-knit community. Some of the ducks’ favorite hobbies include violently shoving their heads underwater. While at first I was concerned for the ducks’ wellbeing, I later learned that they do this to search for edible plants and bugs that lay beneath the surface of the water. Besides this, I like to believe that the ducks are avid readers. I imagine their favorite book to be something dystopian: maybe The Webbed-Handmaids Tale. Above all, the ducks love attention. They cherish nothing more than being featured on New Paltz students’ Snapchat and Instagram stories, and are always prepared to put on a show.