Friday, 8 October 2010

Stranger than fiction

Quoted in full from the Nelson Mail, New Zealand

A duck that visits a Nelson bakery daily for several months at the same time each year has been named Bruffin after the business's most popular product.

Brumby's Hardy St bakery co-owner Shelley Sims said Bruffin was proving to be a real hit with customers. "Every single person who walks past comments."

The duck had been coming to the bakery for three years, usually from about now through until Christmas. She arrives each morning with "her boyfriend" who waits at the door while she comes in to take a bite from the free taster box, Ms Sims said.

"She stands right by the counter and quacks until we feed or pat her."

The pair usually stay until about 11am and then depart. Ms Sims does not know where they come from and cannot believe they manage to make their way through inner city Nelson without getting skittled.

"The really bizarre thing is she comes in every year at the same time," she said.

Fish and Game biodiversity officer Rhys Barrier said mallard ducks were "pretty good at finding out where a free feed is".

"They go away to breed and things like that – their habits shift."

But they have a "good memory" and it was likely to be the food that draws them back, he said. "They have a bit more intelligence than people give them credit for."

Fish and Game has been called from time to time to get mallards and their ducklings out of urban swimming pools, he said. "They're a breed that's very tolerant of people."

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