Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Lab ducks. What the heck are these two mallard ducks doing outside the entrance to my lab building? Every single day (since it got warm) they sit happily by the door, soft quacking at everyone who walks in and out, like benign and protective duck-buddhas. Why they are there, well, I have no idea. There’s no water or ponds around medical campus. But I look forward to seeing them everyday (and sometimes sneak them a peice of bagel. Happy quacking ensues.)


There’s a male and a female mallard duck, and the female has begun to build a nest. Right outside the door. This reminded me of the female duck “Quacks Reform” which, in 2005, laid some eggs in front of the Treasury Department in Washington, DC. The nest was guarded by Secret Service until Quacks Reform hatched her brood and waddled into the sunset.

While their won’t be any glamorous guards for MY ducks, that doesn’t mean that she can’t have a clever and (hopefully) nerdtastic nom du nest. Can anyone help me think up a name? All I got so far is “Quacks Polymerase” and “Beak Expression.”


  1. #1 J-Doq
    May 25, 2007

    Ducks Redux?

    Quacks By the Quad?

    Mallards Of The Caribbean – At Nests End?

    Be down wit da Dux?


    Hey… I could keep this up all day – and remember, you asked for it!

  2. #2 Shelley
    May 25, 2007

    Mallards Of The Caribbean – At Nests End?

    HA! 🙂

  3. #3 J-Dog
    May 25, 2007

    Actually, I liked Retroquacktacle best… 🙂

  4. #4 johnny dollar
    May 25, 2007

    l33t dux0rs

  5. #5 Merrie Haskell
    May 25, 2007

    I think I know these ducks–I think they nested outside of Taubman Medical Library a few years ago.

  6. #6 Shelley
    May 25, 2007

    Yep, would make sense as Taubman is right around the corner from me.

  7. #7 Ian
    May 25, 2007

    You’re having trouble finding names for a couple of old quacks?

    Gee, in my day we wouldn’t have shown that level of respect for the faculty…

    Of course in those “bathroom wall as proto-blog” days they wouldn’t have been able to prove who gave the ducks those names…

  8. #8 Charlie (Colorado)
    May 25, 2007


    They’re not dead yet!

    They’re feeling much better!

  9. #9 Science Avenger
    May 26, 2007


    Old Quack’s Home

    Just ducky

  10. #10 knobody
    May 26, 2007

    rosalind beaklin and francis quack

  11. #11 Lab Lemming
    May 27, 2007

    At least your quacks are *outside* the medical research facility…

  12. #12 Shelley
    May 30, 2007

    When I went to lab today, there was a huge sign that said “DO NOT FEED THE DUCKS!” And no sign of the ducks yesterday or today.


    I wonder if someone didn’t like them by the door and chased them off?

    Don’t violate the ducks’ rights: freedom of nest! Help, help, they’re being repressed!

  13. #13 Josh King
    May 30, 2007

    I think your bit of bagel and the new sign are indicative of why those ducks are not hanging out where the water is. A lake has nothing on Brueggers.

  14. #14 Science Avenger
    May 30, 2007

    I guess it’s “Dead Ducks” after all.

  15. #15 Juliana
    November 5, 2007

    Hello! this is an interesting occurance. Do you think i could use your duck photo for a powerpoint presentation of mine? It would be cited, and on the screen for approx. 30 seconds

  16. #16 Shelley Batts
    November 5, 2007

    Sure, feel free.

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