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!

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Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.