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5 Lessons Ducks, Geese and Swans Can Teach Us About Life

With a Ph.D. in psychology and a passion for animals, FlourishAnyway knows animals can teach us more about living healthy, fulfilling lives.

A Feathered Philosopher—Not a Bird Brain

Give me some respect here.  I'm flexible, water repellent, and I've got great legs.

Give me some respect here. I'm flexible, water repellent, and I've got great legs.

Feathered Philosophers Share Their Tips for Living Well

Please don't say they taste like chicken. No fair calling them "bird-brained" either. And, could you kindly lay off the wisecracks about their waddle? Perhaps you haven't seen yourself walk since you put on those last five pounds.

Give the Goose and Friends Some Respect

Ducks and geese have an inferiority complex when it comes to their reputations with humans. They're tired of being stuffed for Christmas dinner and plucked for their soft feathers.

Together they've joined wings with their more uppity and contentious cousins, the swans, who have image problems of their own. Swans are widely regarded as having an especially nasty disposition.1

These feathered philosophers want your respect, and to earn it they are sharing five tips for living well.

Awesome New Yoga Pose: Sitting Duck

Can you do this?  Didn't think so!

Can you do this? Didn't think so!

Reader Poll

Lesson 1: Be Flexible

Our feathered friends are models of flexibility, as they boast a large number of neck vertebrae—from 16 in ducks to 24 or more in swans, depending on the subspecies.2 By comparison, humans, giraffes, and almost all other mammals have only seven neck vertebrae.

Ducky and his buddies use their long necks in grooming, communication, and mating displays. They also use them to feed on vegetation well below the water's surface.

Are You Loose as a Goose? If Not, Then Get Stretching

Assess your flexibility using the Sit-and-Reach Test.  This goose is laughing at you already.

Assess your flexibility using the Sit-and-Reach Test. This goose is laughing at you already.

Toe-Touching Flexibility Reveals the Flexibility of Your Arteries

While we humans cannot acquire more vertebrae, we can work with the body we have to ensure that it's in the best shape possible.

Did you know that flexibility is a key indicator of cardiovascular health for people 40 years or older? Medical research has found that if you are flexible enough to touch your toes in the sit-and-reach test, then chances are your arteries are also flexible.3

Doctors are uncertain why this is true, but they do know that healthy arteries are more resilient. The stiffness of our arteries increases as we age. Inflexible arteries are associated with high blood pressure and are a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and death.4

Sit-And-Reach Test

I may have ugly feet and webbed toes, but woo-hoo I sure can reach!

I may have ugly feet and webbed toes, but woo-hoo I sure can reach!

Are You Loose as a Goose? Try the Sit-And-Reach-Test

Assess your own flexibility using these simple steps:5

  1. Sit on the floor with your back against the wall.
  2. Place your legs straight out in front of you with your toes pointing straight up. Your ankles should be about 10 inches apart.
  3. Place a yardstick or rigid tape measure on the floor so that it lines up with your ankles at the 15 inch mark (~38 cm mark).
  4. Placing one hand over the other, slowly reach forward from your hips towards your toes. Do not bounce or lunge. Reach as far as you can, and measure how far you can reach on the yardstick.
  5. Repeat the process three times, and interpret your results using the table below. (Use the best of your three attempts.)

How to Interpret Results of the Sit-And-Reach Test

If You Are A ...Your Flexibility Is AVERAGE If You Can ReachYour Flexibility is EXCELLENT If You Can Reach

Man under 55

12 inches (30.5 cm)

19 inches (48.3 cm)

Woman under 55

16 inches (40.6 cm)

21 inches (53.3 cm)

Man 55 or older

11 inches (30.0 cm)

17 inches (43.2 cm)

Woman 55 or older

15 inches (38.1 cm)

20 inches (50.8 cm)

So "Waddle" It Take to Get You Stretching?

If you aren't as flexible as you should be, medical researchers recommend integrating Pilates, yoga, and stretching exercises into your exercise routine. Such exercises may help you modify the age-related stiffness of your arteries. Start now, and pretty soon you'll be loose as a goose!

Swans: Romantic Birds With "Fowl" Tempers

Graceful and beautiful, swans are also notorious for also being territorial and aggressive.

Graceful and beautiful, swans are also notorious for also being territorial and aggressive.

Trumpeter Swan Fact

Trumpeter swans were believed to be extinct in the 1800s. Native to the Northern United States and Canada, they were overhunted and killed by the thousands for their feathers. These feathers were shipped to Europe to produce powder puffs and ladies' feathered hats.

Lesson 2: Couples Enjoy Friendship Plus Other Benefits

Swans float gracefully along the surface of the pond in pairs, necks curved. We uphold them as the epitome of romance and committed relationships.

Although "divorce" sometimes occurs, swans generally form pair bonds that last their entire lives—an average of 10 years in the wild and 30 or more years in captivity.6 If one mate dies, the other goes through a mourning period. It remains alone for several seasons before finding another mate or joining a flock.

Lifelong partnerships provide swans significant reproductive advantages, as both males and females cooperate in raising their young (called "cygnets").

Humans also reap rewards from matrimonial partnerships, and the benefits go far beyond having a steady partner to fluff your feathers. Men, however, often get more out of the arrangement than women.

Who's Your Daddy?

Up to 40% of eggs in "monogamous" birds may be fathered by a different mate.  Uh-oh!

Up to 40% of eggs in "monogamous" birds may be fathered by a different mate. Uh-oh!

Financial Benefits

The financial pluses of marriage are not limited to sharing expenses and combining resources. Married couples have an average of twice as much in the bank as unmarried couples.7 Married people also gain access to health care coverage, lower rates on auto premiums, Social Security survivor benefits, and other federal benefits.

Career Benefits

A married man earns approximately one-third more than his single buddies, and men who are cohabiting with a partner earn on average 15-20% more than single men.8 Men's pay levels benefit from marrying earlier, regardless of whether they are high school graduates or more educated.

For women, this is not the case, however. If they have at least some college education there is a career income benefit to delaying marriage until after age 30.9

How Many Birds Is This Woman Wearing?

Feathered hats and boas were popular during past eras.  This photo was from about 1900.

Feathered hats and boas were popular during past eras. This photo was from about 1900.

Health and Longevity Benefits

Wedded bliss also contributes to health and longer lifespans. Research has found that not having a life partner or spouse during middle age is associated with premature death; never married people are twice as likely to die during middle age.

According to one study, men don't even have to be involved in a happy marriage to reap its health benefits. Compared to single men, married men had a 46% lower likelihood of dying—even if their marriage was unhappy.10

However, studies tend to indicate that women reap the health rewards of marriage only when it is a happy one. Happily married women gain less weight, have lower cholesterol, and are less likely to experience depression and heart disease.11

For both men and women, marriage can be especially beneficial during times of serious illness. In a large-scale study of married and unmarried cancer patients, those who did not have a spouse were

  • 17% more likely to have an advanced stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis
  • 53% less likely to receive appropriate therapy than married patients and
  • 20% more likely to die than married cancer patients.

So there you have it: matrimony can provide a key survival benefit.

Not an Ugly Duckling Among Us

According to psychological studies, merely considering yourself attractive is associated with many socially desirable traits, including better social skills and comfort with the opposite sex.

According to psychological studies, merely considering yourself attractive is associated with many socially desirable traits, including better social skills and comfort with the opposite sex.

Reader Poll

Awww!

Never release a domestic duck into the wild.

Never release a domestic duck into the wild.

Lesson 3: Preen a Little

Ducks, geese, and swans engage in preening, or self-grooming of their feathers. Preening removes parasites and helps keep them both clean and dry. The birds use their bills to align their feathers just so and to coat them with a special water repellent substance from their preen gland.

Just as preening helps ducks, geese and swans to look their best, it can also help you.

The Attractiveness Bias: "What Is Beautiful Is Good"

Beauty confers a lot of benefits, even if it is a surface quality.12 Physically attractive people are perceived as happier, more sociable, and more successful than the "uglier ducklings" among us.

The attractiveness bias extends to teacher ratings, voter preferences of political candidates, and juror judgments. The attractiveness bias is sometimes referred to as "the what is beautiful is good" effect because we tend to associate attractive people with desirable qualities.

These male mandarin ducks most certainly benefit from the attractiveness bias, don't you think?

These male mandarin ducks most certainly benefit from the attractiveness bias, don't you think?

Being Beautiful at Work

Being beautiful isn't merely about perceptions. It translates into tangible advantages.

In employment contexts, better-looking job applicants are judged as more hirable, and they receive higher salary offers. This is in spite of a near-zero relationship between intellectual competence and attractiveness.

Once on the job, the benefits of being good-looking extend to career development opportunities and promotions. Attractive employees are more likely to be selected for management training programs. They are also more likely to be promoted to managerial positions.

While our attractiveness is fixed to some extent by heredity, we can preen so that we are the most beautiful versions of ourselves as possible. Adjustments to makeup, hairstyling, clothing, fitness, and posture can all impact how we present ourselves.

Decide for yourself. While it is true that beauty is skin deep, preening can help you tangibly feather your nest.

Good Things Take Time

Ducks and geese lay one egg each day until their entire nest of 8-18 eggs is ready to incubate.  The eggs hatch within a day or two of one another.

Ducks and geese lay one egg each day until their entire nest of 8-18 eggs is ready to incubate. The eggs hatch within a day or two of one another.

Lesson 4: Tackle a Large Project One Day at a Time

Ducks and geese pair up in late Fall and begin to nest the following Spring.13 The couple together selects a nesting location under shrubbery or in tall vegetation, away from the water as well as predators.

The mother becomes a Project Manager, laying between 8 and 18 eggs (depending on the variety of duck or goose). Meanwhile her mate waits for her in the water. Understanding the enormity of her task, the female lays one egg each day. By delaying incubation until all of her eggs have been laid, she ensures that all of her hatchlings will emerge within a 24-48-hour period. Then she can lead them to water.

These ducklings are adorable projects that require major resource investments from their parents.  Ducks and geese lay between 8 and 18 eggs.  Swans often lay 3 to 11, depending on the particular breed.

These ducklings are adorable projects that require major resource investments from their parents. Ducks and geese lay between 8 and 18 eggs. Swans often lay 3 to 11, depending on the particular breed.

Project Management Basics

If you are faced with a large project that threatens to overwhelm you, divide your large task into smaller tasks with actionable steps. Determine a schedule, the resources and tools you will need as well as the milestones you will use to assess progress against your project plan.

Also consider what tasks you can delegate. (The mama duck, for instance, does delegate some tasks to papa duck. A gal shouldn't do everything herself.)

Focus your efforts on what you must get done today, giving yourself a specific amount of time to complete each task. Challenge yourself by working against the clock. Take scheduled breaks and record your progress.

Most of all, make yourself accountable by sharing your performance against your established project plan. By taking it one day at a time, pretty soon you'll be where you want to be!

Anyone Else Have Duck Toes?

Syndactyly refers webbing between human toes, typically the second and third. It occurs in about 1 in 2,000 live births.

Syndactyly refers webbing between human toes, typically the second and third. It occurs in about 1 in 2,000 live births.

Talk It Out

If you don't talk it out -- or honk or quack -- it's easy for misunderstands to develop.

If you don't talk it out -- or honk or quack -- it's easy for misunderstands to develop.

Lesson 5: Let the Stress Roll Off Like Water Off a Duck's Back

Thanks to the uropygial gland (or preen gland), ducks, swans and geese are able to apply a special waxy substance which effectively waterproofs them. Wouldn't it be awesome to apply the same technique to ourselves to ward off stress?

Too much stress is associated with

  • clinical depression
  • weight gain
  • insomnia
  • headaches/migraines
  • preterm labor in pregnant women
  • high blood sugar in diabetics
  • back pain
  • flare-ups of asthma, multiple sclerosis, and other serious medical conditions
  • greater inflammation and colds
  • higher risk of strokes and heart attack
  • development of chronic diseases
  • accelerated shrinkages of brain tissue in areas of the brain overseeing reasoning, decision making, emotion, and self-control
  • premature aging
  • genetic changes that may show up in the next generation.

So do you need any more convincing to get your stress under control? Whether you exercise, meditate, or talk it out with a friend, learn how to let the stress roll off like water off a duck's back.

Your health depends on it!

Like Water Off a Duck's Back

You got this.  Don't let the small stuff bother you.  And by the way, it's all small stuff.

You got this. Don't let the small stuff bother you. And by the way, it's all small stuff.

Buttercup the Disabled Duck: One Lucky Ducky

When Buttercup the duck was hatched in a high school biology class in 2012, one of his feet was turned backwards.

Unfortunately, his disability could not be fully corrected, and he could waddle only with extreme pain. Buttercup went to Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary for treatment.

His foot was amputated, and the lucky ducky received a high tech prosthetic foot thanks to the wonders of three-dimensional printing technology.

Buttercup the Disabled Duck Gets a High-Tech 3-D Printed Foot

Resist the Urge to Feed Ducks and Geese at Your Local Park

Before you head off to the park with a loaf of bread, think twice. Although many people feed ducks and geese, the habit is actually harmful to the birds for the following reasons:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Disease contagion
  • Unnatural dependency on handouts
  • Pollution
  • Overcrowding
  • Delayed migration

Why not take photos instead?

If You Love Them, Please Look But Don't Feed

"Angel wing" is a disease that results from malnutrition.  It results in twisted feathers, is incurable and leads to death.  If you care about them, please don't feed waterfowl bread.

"Angel wing" is a disease that results from malnutrition. It results in twisted feathers, is incurable and leads to death. If you care about them, please don't feed waterfowl bread.

Gentle Mother Cat Adopts Abandoned Baby Ducklings

Sources

  1. British Waterfowl Association. "Swans." British Waterfowl Association home page. Accessed September 25, 2013. <http://www.waterfowl.org.uk/swans.html>.
  2. Michigan State University. "Kellogg Bird Sanctuary: Know your Swans." Welcome - W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Accessed March 4, 2016. <http://birdsanctuary.kbs.msu.edu/visit/birds/birds-exhibit/kellogg-bird-sanctuary-know-swans/>.
  3. Medical News Today. "The Important Relationship Between Flexibility And Health." Last modified October 9, 2009. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/166574.php>.
  4. Tanenbaum, Sharon. "Increase your flexibility and improve your life - CNN.com." CNN.com. Last modified August 21, 2010. <http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/21/increase.flexibility.realsimple/index.html>.
  5. Khalsa, Soram. "The Flexibility of Your Body Correlates With the Flexibility of Your Arteries." The Huffington Post. Last modified May 11, 2010.<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-soram-khalsa/yoga-health-the-flexibili_b_570848.html.>
  6. Tudge, Colin. "They famously mate for life, but as one flighty pair find new lovers... the truth about the sex lives of swans." Mail Online. Last modified January 26, 2010. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1246073/They-famously-mate-life-flighty-pair-new-lovers--truth-sex-lives-swans.html>.
  7. Ebben, Paula. "Can Marriage Improve Your Finances? « CBS Boston." CBS Boston. Last modified February 21, 2011. <http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/02/21/can-marriage-improve-your-finances/>.
  8. Sutherland, Keri. "Married men earn a third more than their single counterparts." Mail Online. Last modified January 30, 2010. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247317/Married-men-earn-single-counterparts.html>.
  9. Barkhorn, Eleanor. "Getting Married Later Is Great for College-Educated Women." The Atlantic. Last modified March 15, 2013. <http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/getting-married-later-is-great-for-college-educated-women/274040/>.
  10. Harvard Medical School. "Marriage Leads to Better Health for Men - Harvard Health Publications." Health Information and Medical Information - Harvard Health Publications. Last modified July, 2010. <http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/marriage-leads-to-better-health-for-men>.
  11. DeNoon, Daniel J. "Only Happy Marriage Is Healthy for Women." WebMD. Last modified September 15, 2003. <http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20030915/only-happy-marriage-is-healthy-for-women>.
  12. Cornell HR Review. "May the Best (Looking) Man Win: the Unconscious Role of Attractiveness in Employment Decisions." Last modified February 14, 2013. <http://www.cornellhrreview.org/may-the-best-looking-man-win-the-unconscious-role-of-attractiveness-in-employment-decisions/>.
  13. Wildlife Rehabber. "Duck - Goose Egg And Nest Information | Wildlife Rehabber." Wildlife Rehabilitation Information and Resources. Accessed September 29, 2013. <http://wildliferehabber.com/content/duck-information>.
This pair of black swans looks after their cygnet. Geese and swans are typically socially monogamous for life but not always sexually faithful.

This pair of black swans looks after their cygnet. Geese and swans are typically socially monogamous for life but not always sexually faithful.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2013 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 29, 2014:

askformore lm - I'm glad you enjoyed this. Have a great week!

askformore lm on October 29, 2014:

Thank you for a very interesting hub. You share with all of us a lot of information. However, all the info isn't boring, because of your very entertaining style. Thanks!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 17, 2014:

ologsinquito - Thanks for reading. Although I'm not in the healthcare profession myself, I do have accounts with several medical sites and have the benefit of being able to learn all kinds of fascinating medical facts. Our bodies often can tell us what's going on with them if we understand the cues.

ologsinquito from USA on February 17, 2014:

Your articles are so well researched. That's really interesting about the relationship between flexibility and cardiovascular health.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 23, 2013:

moonlake - Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a great day.

moonlake from America on October 22, 2013:

Enjoyed your hub good advice and love the photos. Vote up...

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 16, 2013:

Carolyn - Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading and learning about waterfowl. They are cute little quackers. Have a great day.

Carolyn Emerick on October 16, 2013:

Oh another one of your beautiful animal hubs! I find them amusing, educational, and uplifting all at the same time. Upvoted and sharing (I share off HP where I have more followers) Thanks again for another great one. I especially love waterfowl :-)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 13, 2013:

Jackie - Thanks for stopping by. I think only mammals nurse, but it was cute seeing them cuddled up and imitating their adopted siblings!

Jackie Lynnley on October 12, 2013:

I love all your feathered friends and that video is something else, do duck nurse? I mean their real mothers? ^&share.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 06, 2013:

LongTimeMother - Thanks for reading and sharing. Glad you're healthy on the inside and on the out!

LongTimeMother from Australia on October 05, 2013:

What an awesome hub! I was greatly relieved to pass the sit-and-reach test. :) Voted up and sharing.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 04, 2013:

aviannovice - Awesome that you enjoyed this! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to give your feedback.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on October 03, 2013:

This is well done, and naturally, I enjoyed the parts about the waterfowl best.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2013:

Bill - Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing. Buttercup is so cute, all grown up now. He marched down the red carpet at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis where he was a guest of honor in July. It's something how resilient animals are, and I'm glad this new technology could help him.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2013:

LKMore01 - That is such a nice compliment. Thank you so much. I appreciate your reading.

LKMore01 on October 01, 2013:

Flourish,

This HUB is truly a work of art. You are so talented and creative. I feel like I just had a brain massage. Beautiful.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on October 01, 2013:

Hi FA. What a wonderful and funny hub. We certainly can learn a few things from our feathered friends. I remember the story of buttercup, certainly one lucky duck. We have a park nearby (forest park) and it's full of geese, ducks, swans, etc.. We love going there to just feed them and watch them, very therapeutic. Really enjoyed this one. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc..

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2013:

Vinaya - Aesop and his fables were fabulous. I appreciate you stopping by and am glad you liked these.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2013:

Benjamin - I'm so glad you enjoyed it and found it creative and entertaining. These creatures have a lot to teach us if we'll pay attention.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2013:

Heidi - Absolutely - the flock mentality! Especially during migrations, Canadian geese exhibit their famous V formation and share in the leadership position. If one member becomes hurt or ill and is grounded, another will stay with them. We could really learn something from these birds! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on October 01, 2013:

The flock mentality (teamwork?) of geese also help them survive in some challenging urban conditions. Love the story of Buttercup. 3D print tech will change so many things in our lives, including medicine. Thanks for sharing!

Benjamin Chege on October 01, 2013:

Hi FlourishAnyway. Creative hub. Voted up, awesome and beautiful. I like the way you have used geese and ducks to come up with roles and lessons in a way that is less formal and achievable. Nice read. Thanks for sharing.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on October 01, 2013:

Animals are great teachers, that's why ancient story tellers such as Aesop told human stories with animal characters.

I enjoyed reading your life lessons.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2013:

AliciaC - Thank you for the kudos. They are beautiful creatures and sure know a lot about living.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2013:

DDE - Taking good care of yourself probably maintains your self-confidence, too. Thank you for reading, commenting and voting. I put a lot of research and effort into making them just so.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 30, 2013:

I have been through many changes especially since my move to Croatia and life here is more traditional, most woman here don't take care of themselves. I however make sure I do and men off course don't bother much at least most of them don't care much to take care of themselves. An interesting hub about How To Live Your Best Life: Lessons Learned From Ducks, Geese & Swans, so well thought of and so true. The photos and style most impressive. Voted up, useful and interesting!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 30, 2013:

This is a very creative and informative hub, FlourishAnyway! I appreciate all the details and work that you put into it. The hub is entertaining, too!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2013:

bravewarrior - Thanks for reading. It is perfectly fine to be without a partner if that's your choice or your circumstance. The lesson that "Couples Enjoy Friendship Plus Great Benefits" is not a value statement but instead supported by data. Fair or not, there are financial, career, health and longevity benefits associated with such relationships, and these tend to benefit men more than women. Women actually seek the majority of divorces.

The lesson regarding "Preen A Little" refers to the extensive research on the attractiveness bias. If one desires to take advantage of the attractiveness bias, s/he should preen. If not, one should not worry about appearance and just go about their business. Do what works for you.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2013:

Elias, thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed it.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 30, 2013:

Flourish, I have mixed feelings about this hub. Men are more amenable to marriage? Well, I guess if the wife takes care of them. I have been married twice and severed both relationships. I was the strong one and I got tired of it. Especially since I had a child to raise on top of it. I discovered my son and I were better off without a man who didn't want to contribute emotionally or financially.

I used to be very attractive, but ever since I started working from home, I have quit 'preening'. Now I have gained weight (I'm divorced) and have quit making myself pretty. I don't wear makeup, I stopped covering the gray and I work in sweats or loose fitting pants and oversized t-shirts. I'm tired of making a 'presence' for the public. What does that say about me?

Elias Zanetti from Athens, Greece on September 30, 2013:

Great hub and most interesting and funny read! Many thanks!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2013:

Liz - Duck toes are odd indeed. I'm embarrassed to say I have them (second and third toes connected halfway up). I've received quite a bite of "wisequacks" from family about it, although the trait is genetic. Thanks for reading, voting, and sharing!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2013:

Suzette - Don't feel bad. I was guilty of feeding the ducks and geese, too, until I researched this. I won't anymore, though now that I know the damage it can do. Thanks for your kind words. Glad they have your respect!

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on September 30, 2013:

What a cute and clever hub! I loved this and the comparisons and I've never seen duck toes before! :) Thank you for sharing this entertaining and informational article. Voted up and shared!

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on September 30, 2013:

Oh my goodness, this is hilarious and yet filled with great advice. Your metaphor to the duck family is great. You are so right about all your suggestions and advice. I do feel guilty though, I am one of those that feed the ducks and geese, but I won't anymore. I don't want to harm them. They are so beautiful. We have lots of Canadian geese here in Ohio as they pass over here in their yearly migrations. I so enjoyed reading this and there will be no more duck jokes here! LOL

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2013:

Crafty - Thank you for reading. So glad you enjoyed this. Have a great day.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2013:

Mariewj - Thank you for the kudos. I appreciate your reading them both!

CraftytotheCore on September 30, 2013:

Amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Great tips!

mariewj on September 30, 2013:

This is even better than your cat article in the same series. A really enjoyable, fun and informative read.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2013:

Mhatter99 - You're pretty entertaining yourself, Martin. Sometimes you quack me up! Bahaha. Thanks for reading.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2013:

shanmarie - I wish I could do the sitting duck too! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on September 30, 2013:

To say this is entertaining would be an understatement. thank you

Shannon Henry from Texas on September 29, 2013:

Ohmygoodness! You are so funny. Would that I could do the sitting duck - or any yoga for that matter!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2013:

Faith Reaper - Ducks, geese and swans are beautiful to watch and smart too! I appreciate your kind comments, reading, and sharing.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on September 29, 2013:

These series you have going on here are brilliant, creative, fun and oh-so helpful too!!!

Truly enjoyable read here. Yes, we certainly can learn much from ducks, geese and swans ... especially the letting things roll off our backs part. All the video and pics are great too. I love your humor as always included here, plus with the useful ...serious information, this is a winner here!

Up and across the board and sharing.

Hugs to you and yours, Faith Reaper