Maria’s Duck Tales: Wildlife Stories From My Garden

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Maria Daddino is entranced with nature, all its flora and fauna, and she writes enchantingly of her impressions of and encounters with the residents and transients of her wildlife habitat home along Penataquit Creek of Long Island. As if reading pages from her personal diary, each of the thirteen essays detailing the antics of the ducks, geese, and swans that arouse her care and curiosity both amuse and beguile the reader. Tales about Peeper and Patches, twin ducklings with opposite personalities, endear the heart as their survival tactics are recounted. Liaisons between ducks are followed and their fidelity commands her admiration. At times Daddino gushes with love and sympathy for her menagerie of critters whom she affectionately names according to the impression they make on her … the duck Grace named for her beauty, another named Robert whose personality was like her son’s, and Jack because he was like a jumping jack.

While cared for with TLC, ducks which imprinted on this garden naturalist were always returned to their family and natural setting as soon as rehabilitation permitted, and scrupulously observed from a distance. Not only is the avian behavior naturally reported, the personalities and foibles are delightfully described. There are brief glances at other habitat residents such as opossums, squirrels, the elegant fish eagle or osprey, and the elusive red fox. Charming miniature color illustrations enhance the text. While the stories appear to emotionally anthropomorphize the creatures, these vignettes serve to make animal behavior accessible to the public. If ever I am to return to Earth in another form, I cannot think of a more idyllic place to be than as a Muscovy duck in Maria Daddino’s garden.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 108 pages
Publisher Llumina Press
Publish Date 01-Sep-2011
ISBN 9781933626543 Buy this Book
Issue May 2013
Category Science & Nature


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