Thursday June 5th 2014 it is Dead Duck Day again. At exactly 17:55h we will honour the mallard duck that became known to science as the first (documented) ‘victim’ of homosexual necrophilia in that species. Please join for this short open-air ceremony next to the new wing of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam (the Netherlands), right below the Dead Duck Memorial Plaque, where that duck (now museum specimen NMR 9989-00232) has met his dramatic end.
Here is what we plan to do during the 19th Dead Duck Day
- Commemorate the life and death of NMR 9989-00232, the mallard-duck that now has a special exhibit in the museum.
- Review (maybe even play part of) ‘The Homosexual Necrophiliac Duck Opera’ composed and conducted by Daniel Gillingwater and performed by soprano Sarah Redmond and the Egde Ensemble. The world-premiere of this mini-opera was 14 March 2014 at Imperial College, London, as part of the Ig Nobel Tour of the UK. (click here for a report)
- Communicate recent observations of or publications relating to remarkable animal behaviour and/or birds colliding with glass buildings.
- Honour the new book by Menno Schilthuizen ‘Nature’s Nether Regions‘ and its Dutch translation Darwins Peepshow (that will be launched ‘as we speak’ in Naturalis Biodiversity Centrer, Leiden). This book devoted almost two pages to ‘The duck’ and Dead Duck Day.
- Read the special Dead Duck Day Message, this year written by Linda Lombardi, author of the book ‘Animals Behaving Badly’.
Hear about the use of glass in modern architecture from Jacob van Rijs (MVRDV), and discuss ways to prevent birds from colliding with glass (buildings).
- After all this, everybody is invited to the traditional six-course (dead) duck dinner at the famous Tai Wu Restaurant.
Dead Duck Day is open to the public and free of charge. The ceremony is in the open air on the lawn next to the north wing of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, right below the Dead Duck Memorial Plaque [pictured below], in the Museumpark (address: Westzeedijk 345, 3015 AA Rotterdam). We start at exactly 17:55h. Kees Moeliker will do most of the talking, in Dutch and in English (almost simultaneously). Usually, at about 18:25h we walk to the restaurant for the six-course duck dinner. Arrival at the Tai Wu restaurant (address: Mauritsweg 24-26, 3012 JR Rotterdam) at about 18:45h. If you want to join the dinner, please make your own reservations (telephone +31 10 4330818; code Dead Duck Day 死鸭日]. Dinner and beverages are at your own expense.
Dead Duck Day is organized by the European Bureau of Improbable Research and the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, this year in cooperation with the 6th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR 2014 – Urban by Nature –).