Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
July 25, 2017   10:22 pm NL Time

Duck, Duck, Goose!

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Duck, Duck, Goose!

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Status of Original Painting – For Sale

All prices are in Canadian dollars

Size: 14 x 14  inches

Price: Inquire

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb d’Arches

Description:

This winter scene takes place on Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s, Newfoundland. On the left is a male Mallard duck, and the duck partially hidden on the right is a male Eurasian Widgeon. In the centre is a goose whose origins and identity are less certain. It’s most likely an escaped domestic goose, whose species was originally derived as a hybrid of the European Greylag. Other birders wrote that he was a wild Greylag goose that somehow reached St. John’s, far from home. In the front are three common pigeons.

When I enlisted help to identify these waterfowl, this eventually led to the unexpected discovery of this goose’s story on-line. He was named Michael by local residents, and Barry by another blogger. The tale is that he’d appeared in St. John’s harbor unannounced, and someone later transferred him to Quidi Vidi Lake, where he’d be safer. There he became a dominant sight, loud and impertinent, bossy but friendly, demanding food from passerby, and delighting children. He lived on Quidi Vidi Lake for about ten years. There are several accounts of his story on-line (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and videos on YouTube (1, 2). He went missing in March 2012, prompting the local media to plan a search for him, but it was later revealed that his body had washed ashore. He probably died of old age, although there was an unsubstantiated claim that his end was the violent result of fowl play…

My thanks to Krista Rideout for her original photo that I used as a reference, and the discovery of Michael’s story; and Carol Joyce who identified the bird species for me.