01-05 Mallard duck

[Image above] Ducks are the unofficial mascot of small-town Yardley, Pa. A new project plans to make their presence in town bigger than life to attract tourists. Credit: Bert de Tilly, Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Usually when I hear talk of peacocks, it’s regarding their beautiful plumage. The residents of Tracy, California, have a different take on the birds, however.

Feral peacocks and peahens have roamed the neighborhood for years, but the numbers have increased as the birds keep multiplying. Dozens of peafowl now roam the streets, causing damage to houses and loudly squawking throughout the day.

“If this were a pack of 100 rats that were scuffling around the yard or on the roof, no one would wait to deal with that problem. Unfortunately, the peacocks are beautiful birds, you want to admire them, but in these numbers they can be destructive,” says Dave Lieberman, president of the Redbridge Homeowners Association, in an article on The Guardian.

While this community plans to decrease its bird presence through humane relocation of the peafowl, on the other side of the United States, another community is embracing its local bird population in a big way.

Yardley is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The small community is a known stop-over site for migrating waterfowl due to its location by several bodies of water—the Delaware River, the Delaware Canal and historic towpath, and Lake Afton.

Right: Map of Yardley Borough in Pennsylvania. Credit: Google Maps

Ducks specifically are the unofficial mascot of the town. The birds appear emblazoned on the town’s fire trucks and are incorporated into the logo for town events like the Yardley 5K. A resident even wrote a book about the feathered tenants.

Now, ducks are poised to make an even bigger splash in the town thanks to a new project by Experience Yardley.

Experience Yardley is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and marketing the community to residents, workers, visitors, and potential businesses. In December, the first part of its latest project appeared just across from the Yardley Borough Hall—a four-foot-tall mallard statue made of fiberglass.

Credit: Experience Yardley, Facebook

As an article on the daily newspaper site The Reporter explains, the fiberglass mallard is the first of seven ducks to appear as part of the Yardley Duck Walk, an initiative announced last July that aims to bring more shoppers and visitors to town.

“The idea is to have another place for people to go when they come into town not unlike the Experience Yardley mural,” says Liz Young, owner of Commonplace Reader and a leader of the Duck Walk project, in The Reporter article. “And we chose ducks because Yardley loves ducks.”

In the coming months, six more ducks will be placed at locations throughout the borough, including the Delaware Canal and near Lake Afton. Each duck will feature a different theme designed by a local artist. The first duck features a classic rose tattoo theme by Lisa and Max Edwards, the owners of Yardley Tattoo.

Each fiberglass duck will be coated with a special acrylic to protect against the weather and graffiti artists. Work on the next duck is expected to begin in March or April, and Young says they will roll out the rest of the ducks as they get sponsorships.

Once all seven ducks are installed, Experience Yardley will publish an official “Duck Walk” map with a complete description of each duck, location, artist, and sponsors. A preliminary map showing the location of future ducks can be seen here.

Curious to create your own fiberglass sculpture of a beloved town mascot? The two-part video below demonstrates the basics of making a fiberglass mold.

Credit: EPFX, YouTube
Credit: EPFX, YouTube