This carving was commissioned by a lodge in New Zealand. Blue ducks are endangered, with only about 5,000 remaining on the North Island, their sole location. The lodge owner has photographed several in the river near the lodge. Luckily, while I was there hunting red stags, the lodge was able to get a mounted specimen that I photographed and took measurements and drawings during my stay. In addition to the photographs, drawings and measurements, I also found a painting by one of my favorite bird artists, New Zealand native Raymond Ching. , which also was valuable.
Although I tried several times to find and photograph these birds, I never was able to do so. These birds feed on insects in the rivers, and have suffered by having to compete with introduced trout for nymphs. Their bills are specially adapted for turning river rocks, and were particularly interesting to carve. I actually did two carvings, both a standing bird and a decorative decoy (which is also shown on this site).