As mentioned in the winter’s Chip Notes, we were eagerly awaiting the debut of Dick Allen’s Bufflehead Duck carvings. They are here!
Bufflehead Ducks are characterized as small, diving ducks that migrate through the region on their way to summer grounds in Canada and Alaska from wintering sites in coastal and southern United States and Central America. Inhabiting ponds and small lakes where they consume crustaceans, mollusks, and insects underwater, Buffleheads nest in aspen and poplar tree cavities created by Northern Flickers. The male Bufflehead’s striking triangular white patch extending from the eyes to the rear of the head inspired the bird’s name. The Bufflehead’s ability to achieve a near-vertical take-off from the water’s surface is another reason we take special notice of this notable species.
The male and female pair will take their places with other waterfowl near Dick’s pair of Lesser Scaups in the Spring Migration scene of the Wetland Diorama.
Dick Allen has always been fascinated by birds and started carving about 25 years ago. He is self-taught through books and carving magazines, with “lots of trial and error”. His carvings have been given to friends and family; some have been donated to charity. Many are on display in his home.
Dick considers himself an advanced amateur, and greatly admires Bob Spears’ work. “Bob is a master carver,” Dick says. About his own carvings, he adds, “I’m still waiting for one I consider ‘really good.’ ”
In addition to carving for the Museum’s exhibits, Dick serves on the Board of Trustees, and volunteers for the Museum. His work is much appreciated.