Look­ing for love in all the wrong places

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

She can’t place a clas­si­fied, or put her pro­file on Tin­der, but there is a wee lass in Waikato in need of a mate.

A paradise shel­duck, nick­named Daphne, has made her home in Tawari Street, Mata­mata, where she has be­come a wel­come vis­i­tor to many of the peo­ple there.

What con­cerns them most is wa­ter­fowl like Daphne gen­er­ally have a mate, which is not the case for this lone­some feath­ered fe­male.

New Zealand Birds On­line said paradise shel­ducks dis­perse as ter­ri­to­rial pairs for breed­ing, and pairs oc­cupy their ter­ri­to­ries year-round ex­cept when at a com­mu­nal moult site.

‘‘Hence birds are in­vari­ably seen as sin­gle pairs.’’

One per­son con­cerned for Daphne is Mata­mata res­i­dent Roger Pot­ter, who first no­ticed the un­usual vis­i­tor about a month ago.

‘‘She seems to like hu­mans cause she was fol­low­ing me around. I don’t know when she ar­rived.’’

Pot­ter said she is very friendly and of­ten wan­ders into his house.

He has been work­ing on find­ing her a pond in a ru­ral area where there is po­ten­tial for her to find a mate.

How­ever as friendly as she is, Daphne is a va­grant and comes and goes as she pleases. Catch­ing and caging her un­til a per­ma­nent home can be found has been a chal­lenge.

‘‘If we could catch

‘‘If we could catch her, we could take her to a pond, some­where safe.’’

her, we could take her to a pond, some­where safe. It would be good to find a mate for her.

‘‘Peo­ple race their cars around these streets and I amafraid she is go­ing to get bowled.’’

Pot­ter’s house isn’t the only one where Daphne has of­ten been seen.

Mary John­son, also on Tawari, says Daphne has been in the res­i­den­tial area for a while now.

John­son started putting a water bath and a bowl of food out for Daphne.

But would also like to see the duck set­tled on a farm and with a mate.

‘‘She just looks lonely,’’ she said.

Daphne has been seen on Find­later Street, Maple Place and Mag­no­lia Drive.

Could you help Daphne find love? Let us know if you have a pond or a lonely male shel­duck for Daphne to meet.

REXINE HAWES

Daphne, the friendly paradise shel­duck is look­ing for a home, and a mate to share it with.

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