The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City may be closed for the time being, but that hasn’t stopped one feathered visitor from stopping by. Last week, the museum reported that a brown duck has built her nest in a planter on its Cantor Rooftop Garden.
Museum staff have enlisted the help of NYC Parks’s Urban Park Rangers to assist in transporting the to-be mom and her ducklings to the Central Park Pond when they’ve hatched. In the meantime, the Met has launched an open call for name suggestions on Instagram, asking users to submit their “most egg-cellent” ideas in the comments.” (The museum is especially eager to hear art-themed monickers.)
Some of the best so far: Leonora Quackington, after Mexican artist Leonora Carrington; La Duckonde, riffing on Leonardo’s “La Giaconda”; and Joseph “Mallard” William Turner, a pun on the British landscape painter’s middle name, Mallord.
The exquisitely-plumaged duck’s choice of such a high-end nesting spot is a testament to her sophisticated taste: the Met roof is renowned for its annual commissions of works by prominent contemporary artists, including Alicja Kwade and Huma Bhabha.
However, this glamorous bird is far from the first of her kind to cause a stir in New York. A multicolored Mandarin Duck spotted in the Central Park Pond in 2018 was baptized “Hot Duck” by the fashion magazine The Cut. The Manhattan Bird Alert, which is basically the ornithology society pages, affirmed that Hot Duck had “unseated the Wood Duck as prettiest duck in the park.”
Although the newly-arrived mallard is unlikely to remain at the museum through its intended reopening date on August 29 — duck eggs usually take 28 days to hatch — it is safe to say that birdwatchers and art lovers alike will be eagerly refreshing the Met’s Instagram for updates. (Or maybe that’s just me.)