In the Wild!

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The Peabody Ducks


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I do not believe that one must be a duck aficionado to appreciate the Peabody Ducks!  These five charming ducks swim in the fountain, at the Peabody hotel, from eleven in the morning, until five in the afternoon.  What a delight to finally see the ducks in person!

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These are happy ducks!

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 What more could a duck wish for?

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“Yes, you may photograph me.”


From the Hotel Website (My Photographs) :

Legend of The Peabody Ducks

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“How did the tradition of the ducks in The Peabody fountain begin?

Back in the 1930s Frank Schutt, General Manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had a little too much Jack Daniel’s Tennessee sippin’ whiskey, and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain.

Three small English call ducks were selected as “guinea pigs,” and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic.  Soon, five North American Mallard ducks would replace the original ducks.

In 1940, Bellman Edward Pembroke, a former circus animal trainer, offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and taught them the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke became the Peabody Duckmaster, serving in that capacity for 50 years until his retirement in 1991.

The original ducks have long since gone, but after nearly 80 years, the marble fountain in the hotel lobby is still graced with ducks. The Peabody ducks march at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.”

Fun Facts


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The Duck Master is getting ready


“Ducks were not the first residents of The Peabody’s lobby fountain. Rumor has it that turtles and baby alligators each briefly graced the fountain in the 1920s.

The Peabody Ducks are five North American mallards – one drake (male) with white collar and green head, and four hens (females) with less colorful plumage.

Duck is not served anywhere at The Peabody, and has not been seen on the hotel’s menus since its 1981 reopening, quite possibly making Chez Philippe the only French restaurant in the world that does not serve duck.

The Peabody Ducks do not have individual names. The hotel recognizes that its resident waterfowl are wild animals, not pets. However, the very first team of ducks were Peabody, Gayoso, and Chisca – named for the three hotels owned by the Memphis Hotel Company in 1933.

The Peabody’s lobby fountain is cut from one enormous piece of travertine marble made and shipped from Italy for the hotel’s 1925 opening. The colorful flowers adorning the top of the fountain are changed out every other day in the middle of the night.

When off-duty from the Lobby, the ducks live in their Royal Duck Palace on the hotel’s rooftop.

The Peabody Ducks are raised by a local farmer and a friend of the hotel. Each team lives in the hotel for only three months before being retired from their Peabody duties and returned to the farm to live out the remainder of their days as wild ducks.”

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“We are off!”

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