Every June 5, for 11 years now, a small number of staff members of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam silently celebrated what they call “Dead Duck Day”, to commemorate the sudden and dramatic death on June 5th, 1995 of the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) that entered the scientific literature as the first victim of homosexual necrophilia in this species. In 2003, the incident was also commemorated with the awarding of the Ig Nobel Biology Prize .
This year the 12th annual Dead Duck Day is open to the public. The Natural History Museum Rotterdam and the European Bureau of Improbable Research invite duck enthusiasts and other people to come to the lawn next to the glass pavilion of the museum [see photo below] — the site where the duck met its fate — and join the short open-air ceremony.
On June 5th 2008, at 17.55 h (the exact moment when the mallard hit the glass fa?ade) bird curator Kees Moeliker will take the now-historic stuffed duck specimen (NMR 9997-00232) out of the museum, say a few words to commemorate the dramatic event and explain -? if asked ?- what exactly happened at that moment thirteen years ago. Participants are invited to bring appropriate snacks and drinks. Click here for the location.
It is the organizers wish that Dead Duck Day becomes a worldwide event on June 5th to commemorate the dramatic death of any duck anywhere and to find ways to prevent the deaths of ducks by traffic, hunting, windows, poison and other unnatural causes. Please report local initiatives to (improbable AT nmr.nl).