The online world of celebrity fowls is heating up, as the new bird on the block challenges New York City’s popular and rare Mandarin duck.
You may remember the huge amount of attention and publicity the multicolored bird received after landing in Central Park last year.
Because Mandarin ducks are native to East Asia, experts guess that the headline-grabbing bird escaped from its owner somewhere in the city. But bird watchers have been lining up to snap a photo of the duck ever since.
In an unusual turn of events, another city’s rare duck is now competing with the Mandarin for the spotlight, but his adopted home is a little less glamorous than the Big Apple.
Is this not the coolest duck you've ever seen? 😎 We think he should be called Danny Zuko. The Victorian #birdwatching community have spotted a Tufted Duck at our #WesternTreatmentPlant & it's the first ever sighting in Australia! Have you been bird watching @ WTP? 📸 Steve Young pic.twitter.com/dQbscDFvSW— Melbourne Water (@MelbourneWater) January 12, 2019
Workers at a water treatment plant in Melbourne, Australia spotted an all black duck swimming through a sewage pond.
The bird, a Eurasian species called the tufted duck, is the first of its kind ever spotted in Australia, meaning his sudden appearance is just as mysterious as the Mandarin’s. And like that bird, people are traveling hundreds of miles to see the odd duck up close.
While the sewage pond had always been a go-to spot for birders, the number of people camped near the water for photos each morning jumped from five or six to at least 35 after the goth duck’s arrival.
"It’s the biggest [bird-watching] event I have witnessed first-hand in Australia," Birdlife Australia editor Sean Dooley told The Guardian. "It felt like I was in England."
Dooley guessed the duck had mistakenly flown south because "something’s gone wrong with its internal GPS."
"For whatever reason and it’s just kept coming south and it's found its way to the Werribee sewage farm," he told The Australian.
Online fans have dubbed the duck "goth duck," "hot duck," and "Danny Zuko" (John Travolta's black-clad character from Grease) because of his striking plumage.
While only a handful of the duck's fans will get to appreciate him in person, it's nice to know that stories about nature and wildlife can still capture the world's attention.