Sunday, August 08, 2004
Ducks and Male-Pattern Blindness
I have two blasted books and can't find this duck in either. There are a few (ducks, not books) out at the wetlands, swimming with the mallards, so I took the picture and came home to look it up. Hmmm, can't find it under marsh ducks, which is where one might reasonably expect to locate a quacking thing that inhabits wetlands. Surely, it's not sea duck? Right, for once. But it doesn't seem to be a bay duck either or a merganser (whatever that is), so I just don't know.
As you have all figured out from the last blog, if not the several dozen that preceded it, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but this makes me feel positively imbecilic. I am looking in Peterson's Eastern Birds at the moment (primarily so I can list all of those bird and duck types above and perhaps appear to have at least a twittering of a brain), but locate it I cannot. I suppose that somebody will open the book, point right at the critter, and look at me (a cyber look anyway) with perplexity, but I can't help it. I just can't see a photo in the books that corresponds with the one above.
My brother-in-law, swears (as in solemn vow as opposed to blasphemous language — although he has been known to do that too) that he and most males (as he looks directly at me and nods knowingly) are afflicted with (or by?) male-pattern blindness. For example: sometimes I stare perplexedly into a cupboard, searching aimlessly and hopelessly for this jar or that bottle. If a female perchances to pass by, I will invariably ask for assistance, and she will invariably pluck the elusive item from … well it's usually right in front of me — at eye-level, no less. Go figure.
So, what duck this? I will even accept an answer from males who don't happen to suffer from the usual male-pattern blindness affliction. If that's possible.