Ruddy Ducks

So… there were these ducks, ruddy ducks, that lived in North America. Somebody brought them to the UK and some of them escaped. The ducks that escaped fell in love and had families (or whatever the duck equivalent of that is) and settled, mostly, in the West Midlands. And that was that really, for a while, until there started to be reports of ruddy ducks being seen in Spain. They were close enough to the breeding grounds of the genetically similar (and much rarer) white-headed duck for people to start worrying about them getting it on with the wrong ducks.

The answer was simple. Kill them all.

Understandably, the idea of killing all ruddy ducks in the UK wasn’t the most popular environmental policy ever devised. It lacked subtlety. It lacked finesse. It was mostly about killing quite sweet looking animals. It made sense though, genetically speaking.

There were arguments for and against the policy but I’m not really interested in getting into that here. Ruddy ducks were part of the reason I got interested in birds and now most of them are gone. There’s still plenty in North America.