When hubs and I walked around the front lawns of the SPI Birding and Nature Centre, I spotted what I at first thought was a lawn ornament.

It was perfectly still and I was able to walk to within a foot of this strange creature before it moved a muscle or blinked an eye.

Apparently, Muscovy Ducks are common in many parts of North America, including some parts of southern Canada, but I had never before seen one.

This is the only duck not descended from mallards. In addition, instead of quacking, it hisses.

The fleshy-bumpy red tissue around the eyes was off-putting to me. Until I was able to search my image, I wondered if this poor duck had contracted some sort of flesh eating disease. I was relieved to find that this is just one more characteristic of this quirky bird, that walks like a duck, but that’s where all similarities end.