My parents are into birdwatching in a pretty big way. They have nice binoculars, but sometimes ducks are shy. So they bought a sweet Vortex scope. It's got awesometastic optics, let me tell you. Of course I had to include their new pride and joy in my latest card!
One of their proudest sightings this year was of a King Eider (pictured in the above card on the right, the left-hand duck is a Green Teal), an absolutely gorgeous duck that is apparently pretty rare in these parts. I made them souvenir-looking t-shirts for xmas, working from one of their photos.
The meticulous little label on the photo is my mom's handiwork. They have eight giant D-ring photo albums full of bird photos that are just as carefully catalogued. My dad takes the photos and prints them off on their Epson PictureMate, my mom does all the record-keeping and the making of the lunches (taken on particularly long excursions). They haven't gotten to the point of keeping canned food in the trunk of their car yet. We shall see what 2012 holds.
I remember reading fairy tales as a kid that made mention of eiderdown. What a shame it would be to stuff such magnificent plumage into a pillowcase! After some research I've found that Common Eiders are the ones that fill the duvets of fairy princesses (eiderdown can be harvested without harming the birds, as they line their nests with those soft feathers). Were King Eiders safe, I wonder? That would be a major case of duck class warfare, or at least appearance-based discrimination!