Carly Carioli made himself into a detective/ornithologist to track down the strange tale of what happened to the dead duck and its confreres years after the famous incident that is known to science and history as the first reported case of homesexual necrophilia in the mallard duck. Carioli writes, on Boston.com:
Happy dead duck day: The long, strange trip of Kees Moeliker’s very strange bird
UPDATED 6:16 PM with a response from Kees Moeliker, which has been appended to the bottom of this post
Today, in case you didn’t know, is Dead Duck Day. Exactly why it is Dead Duck Day requires some explanation. But the purpose of this post is essentially to ask: what ever happened to the dead duck that inspired it?
On June 5, 1995 — eighteen years ago today — Kees Moeliker, an ornithologist at the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam, heard a bang against the window and knew immediately what had happened: a duck had flown into the side of the glass-walled museum and died. As he has related countless times over the last decade, including most recently in February in a TED Talk entitled “How a Dead Duck Changed My Life,” what happened next would dramatically alter the course of his career….
This year, perhaps, they may raise a toast to the English composer Daniel Gillingwater, who is at work on turning the story of the necrophiliac duck into a proper opera, and is applying for funding in the hopes of staging performances around the country, perhaps with Kees along to narrate.
UPDATE. 6:16 PM: In response to my questions about the duck, Kees Moeliker responded, via email, with the following explanation. Mystery solved:
The actual duck, as described in my Ig winning paper (Catalogue number NMR 9997-00232), is in the collection of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam. It never left the building, other than some short trips to a tv studio in the Netherlands.For the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony in 2003 I brought a different mallard duck (with no story behind it, just an ordinary study skin I had specially prepared for this important ceremonial purpose: showing him at the Ig ceremony). This duck, I call him the Ig Duck, is the subject of your query… [read the full story on Boston.com]