My name is Franz Essbichl, I was born in 1962 and I live with my wife and 3 daughters
near Linz in Upper-Austria. My day job is cost (budget planning) clerk in a factory.
Ever since childhood I was fascinated about the keeping and breeding of animals, especially birds.
I kept hares, cavies, pigeons and later Mallard Ducks and Muscovy Ducks on my fatherís farm.
In 1992 I came across some eggs of a Tufted duck by chance, and that was for me
the beginning of breeding waterfowl (anatidae).
To get rings for my Tufted Ducks I joined a local breeders club.
There I met some waterfowl breeders and I was immediately impressed by the variety
of species and breeding biotopes they had.
Soon I laid out a bigger pond and bought a pair of Mandarin Ducks, a pair of Wood Ducks,
a pair of Bar-headed Geese and a pair of Ruddy Shelducks.
Breeding was very successful in the following years and I rapidly increased my breeding area and the
number of species to include Merganser, Stiff-tailed Ducks and other ducks and geese.
I have bred with success about 40 species of waterfowl so far.
My first Tufted Duck of 1992 died in Winter 2010 at the age of 18 years.
My oldest duck was a male Ruddy Duck, born in 1989 and was breeding until 2009.
At the age of 20 years he died an accidental death.
Breeding waterfowl is an interesting activity and a balance to my desk job, because I spend
many hours in the nature.