By Victoria de Rijke
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There are two kinds of duck decoys: one a large netted construction to trap a number of birds, the other a fake duck used to trap a real duck. The ﬁrst type of engineered decoy is almost certainly a Dutch innovation: the word comes either from the Dutch de Kooi (cage or trap) or eendekooy/eende kooi (duck cage), from this ingenious method of harvesting wildfowl used in the Netherlands from the seventeenth century. This kind of decoy is composed of a number of ‘pipes’ narrowing to tunnels with a ‘purse’ at the end, covered by netted hoops made of wych elm, 55 The Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire, in the 1890s.
Aztec manuscripts show hunters with all their weapons and individual characteristics, including the association of each to a bird. The Zsujta duck of 1200–1050 bc was found with a hoard of weapons. ‘Waterfowl shall come to you in their thousands’, reads an Egyptian cofﬁn text. Egyptians used large hexagonal nets to catch Egyptian waterfowling scene: a fragment of wall painting from a tomb of c. 1350 bc. 53 A Hidatsa Indian called ‘White Duck’, posed wearing a headdress of duckdown, skin and feathers, c.
For the tribe Cairinini, thirteen species of perching and cavity nesting ducks such as mandarin (Aix galericulata) and wood 31 Wood nest-boxes can be a secure habitat for successful duck breeding. duck (Aix sponsa), leaving the nest site is difﬁcult for the young because of the drop involved, but ducklings are light, their bones soft and pliable, allowing them to fall without harm. In 1850 Thomas Bell watched a female muscovy push her newly hatched young off a beam in a barn 12 metres (40 ft) from the ﬂoor and said that they landed uninjured.