Identity Crisis, Part One

Part One: Carving and Texturing

By: Brad Snodgrass
Identity Crisis Part One

I am not too sure that a duck spends a lot of time worrying about what or whom he or she identifies as, but we humans seem to spend more than our share of time worrying about such things. For generations the subject bird of this article has been known as a falcated teal. But in 2009, everything changed for this beautiful species. It woke up one morning as a falcated duck!

Apparently, upon further study and careful consideration, ornithologists decided that our hero was no longer of the genus Anas along with the other teal but was now of the genus Mareca and more closely related to gadwall and wigeon. A casual glance at the plumage would lend some credence to both positions, but these classifications are determined by much more sophisticated analysis, such as DNA and so forth. (I can relate somewhat, as when I was a college wrestler, my favorite T-shirt said, “No, I am not on steroids, but I understand your confusion.” My lovely wife now contends that the word “steroids” should be replaced with “doughnuts.” My identity crisis, however, was self-inflicted.) Regardless of the reason for the name change, our subject is now, henceforth and apparently forevermore, a falcated duck.


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