almanac

Ducks exploit the fruits of climate change while conspiring to overthrow humanity

A local newly-superior mallard aspires to be the scourge of humanity.

Image By: Image Courtesy of Savannah McHugh

With Lake Mendota water levels on the rise, the ducks of Madison are now floating higher than ever: despite the misfortune brought on by the recent algaeplague found in the waters of their summer home, the ducks embrace climate change’s gift of an elevated eye level. Whether they find themselves closer to a concert on the terrace or to the breadcrumbs of an unsuspecting child, it is quite plausible that these waterfowl are gaining a new confidence. 

“The ascension of the lake’s water is surely a troubling sign of global warming, however, the big heads of the ducks who are profiting from a heightened water level is arguably more troubling,” explains a self-proclaimed duck behaviorist. “It is in my opinion that these ducks are experiencing their own kind of ‘altitude sickness.’ Classified mainly by a false-sense of climbing the social ladder, their new perspective from a higher Lake Mendota brings them physically closer to humans, making them feel too comparable to man. In other words, these ducks may be gunning for the biggest ecological-upset of the century.”

“It was a busy night at the terrace, and I was waiting in line for a vanilla waffle cone. Out of nowhere, a nearby mallard stepped in front of me, budging nearly the entire line. When asked to move to the back, the duck aggressively turned his head and deviously eyed the people he had just cheated. Before anyone could protect their ears, the duck belched the loudest, most offensive, ‘quack’ to probably ever be recorded in history,” shared the alleged scientist. 

Although it will require long-term research to prove the claimed gain of “big heads,” the upcoming migration season will provide insight into this potential phenomenon: if the claims are true, Midwestern ducks may choose a more ambitious destination to spend their winter months. Perhaps they will trade a mundane trip to Alabama for a luxury vacation in Hawaii, or even the all-too-familiar Floridian beaches for the ritzy white sands of Dubai. 

While the effect climate change has on the sense of self-importance of the duck population is less obvious than other effects, the audacious behavior of local waterfowl may prove to be a convenient and entertaining distraction from the overwhelming fact that various human activities have caused irreparable damage to Earth’s ecosystems. 

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