Bill Gibian Decoys
Decoy vs. Wildfowl Model

It's unlikely that anyone has ever dunked one of Bill's ducks in a lake, or stuck a shorebird in the sands of a beach, with the intent of gunning over them in the traditional manner. Yet, the decoy designation persists because it's a term everyone is familiar with.

The truth is, real decoys are lures for birds, which explains why so many from yesteryear are "folky" looking. Wildfowl are very social, and won't discriminate if their brethren appear to be a tad shabby or plain. So, as Bill notes, the benchmark for decoying people, so to speak, is significantly higher and requires a far greater attention to detail than if he were intending to attract birds. Thus, we could rightly call his creations wildfowl models: wooden sculptures that faithfully, though not slavishly, emulate nature, as a means of celebration and study.