There is an absorbing game known to American children as “Where’s Waldo?”. In a large book, our brightly coloured hero saunters across a page and the children simply have to point out, “There’s Waldo!”. Easy enough so far, but Waldo is often obscured and partially hidden by repeating patterns. Even so, his attire should make him stand out from the background, until you realise that Waldo’s companions like to follow his taste in fashion and draw the eye to further deceive the unwary Waldo watcher.

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Waldo has many adventures across the continents, through jungles, cities and ancient civilisations. He has progressed through many volumes to become an enduring favourite and now there is a birding version for young and aspiring ornithologists. It’s called “Where’s Woody?”. The protagonist of this game is the Wood Duck, Aix sponsa and this adventure is called “Mallard Mayhem”. There is more than one Woody in each picture and the challenge is to find as many as you can. For example, the photo above contains at least 3 Woodies. There may be more, you never know.

Each photo has a target number in the top left corner. See if you can find them all. Some are tricky and some are downright difficult, but experienced and determined Waldo adventurers should be able to find a total of 25 Woodies in the 5 photos.

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Crikey! I have been looking for Woodies on the full -size versions of the pictures and have just realised how difficult it is when they are reduced to web-quality. This is going to be tough. You should be able to get a bigger image to play with by clicking on the first Woody that you find.

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Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago was the scene for this madness. A Whooper Swan conservation project keeps a small wildfowl collection, which includes the Wood Ducks, but free food during cold spells attracts “freeloaders” from Lake Michigan and the zoo end up providing winter fuel for hundreds of  Mallards.

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Don’t forget that Waldo often brought some lady friends with him when he went on his quests. Higher numbers in the corners do not necessarily mean that it is more difficult to find all the Woodies,……… but in this case it actually does.

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To be honest, determination (stubbornness will serve you even better) is going to be more useful than bird identification skill if you are going to score more than 20. Best of luck.

How many did you get? I tried touching up The Management in case they were keen to offer a prize and they replied that a fantastic trip with Adam to go looking for Snow Leopards can be purchased by the winner!

Written by Redgannet
Redgannet worked for more than 35 years as a flight attendant for an international airline. He came to birding late in his career but, considering the distractions, doesn't regret the missed opportunities. He was paid to visit six continents and took full advantage of the chance to bird the world. He adopted the nom de blog, Redgannet, to avoid remonstrations from his overbearing employer, but secretly hoped that the air of mystery would make him more attractive to women. Now grounded, he is looking forward to seeing the seasons turn from a fixed point.