It’s good for a duck hunter to know what the ducks are thinking, I was told. What I needed to do was, “be where they wanted to be” and “know where they wanted to go.” To do that, I would need to think like a duck. Not knowing how to go about thinking like a duck, I took an online personality test and answered the questions the way a duck would. One of the statements on the test was, “Some say I have my head in the clouds,” to which I strongly agreed. After answering 58 questions, I learned that ducks would be well suited to a career in home economics or nursing.
Famous people with duck personalities include Tyra Banks, Victoria Beckham, and Jessica Alba. It makes sense that the personality type is more common in women than in men because I modeled my answers after a hen mallard instead of a drake. The more I learned about duck personalities, the more I realized that they were not the greatest at relationships. According to an online personality type forum, it turns out that ducks can be backstabbers and have an irrational fear of vaccinating their children.
The web is full of great information that is helpful to hunters. You never know when it will benefit you to know whether the particular duck species you are hunting is best represented by a pirate, ninja, or cowboy, but you can take a five-question quiz to find out. It just might be helpful in the field to have an in-depth understanding of which 80’s rock ballad best portrays the state of mind of your quarry. Although ducks do not read, there is no reason that they cannot be characterized by great novelists of the Western Canon or have been Joan of Arc in a past life.
Some of the information was clearly not reliable, however. I steered clear of any anthropomorphic characterizations of ducks, for instance. Daffy Duck started out as a real duck in his first feature with Porky Pig, but it is unclear to biologists and hunters alike what exact species he is supposed to represent. His lisp is the only real duck-like quality that he possesses, and this is said to be because a duck’s mandible would cause a lisp should one attempt to speak as a human. Donald Duck is also questionable. Just because ducks and sailors both like water doesn’t mean a duck would wear a sailor suit.
Although it was interesting to learn about duck personalities through social media apps, there were some obvious flaws there, too. The tests are not bimodal, for instance. The results may vary based on duck species, gender, and age. It also does not indicate biological habits of the species or seasonal behavioral changes. If I was going to figure out anything about ducks, I was going to have to actually do it the old fashioned way. I was going to have to go to a bar and offer to buy one a drink.
update: published in the Redoubt Reporter: Quack Psychology – Know the Mind of Your Quarry September 11, 2013