Wednesday: Duck report

June 6, 2018 • 1:30 pm

These photos were actually taken yesterday, but I’ve fed everyone this morning, and will do it again (with Anna’s help) this afternoon. As you can see below, and it’s still true, all eight ducklings are still around and in good shape.

Frank and Henry are around, too, and Frank’s been a pretty good duck (Henry gets chased out of the pond by Honey, but I make sure he gets some corn). I’ve discovered that if I don’t whistle for the ducks, and if I creep up on the pond silently when Sir Francis isn’t around, I can feed the family until he finally cottons on to the fact that I’m there with food.  Sometimes I can distract him by feeding him corn on the lawn or the lily pads, enabling the family to get down a good amount of food. I have ordered a Super Soaker water cannon if I need to drive him away. He chases the ducklings all the time, though he doesn’t hurt them.

Here he is, eating corn from the lily pads:

Sadly, the video feature of my point-and-shoot camera seems to have crapped out. I wanted to take a movie yesterday, as bathtime was a real trip, with all the ducklings cavorting, splashing, and grooming in their tub. One might even think they were having fun!

Grooming:

Quacking:

A proud mom:

And, of course, the cuties:

“When a man is tired of ducklings, he’s tired of life.” —Dr. Johnson

30 thoughts on “Wednesday: Duck report

    1. I actually don’t notice them growing. I can see it if I look back at old pictures, but looking at them just on one day, they pretty much seem to be the same size they always were!

      1. I hope you won’t be too shocked to see the ducklings fledge in about 50 days, and reach their mature weight in about 12 to 14 weeks! The thought is staggering to me. Indeed, I’m surprised by their changes in your daily posts.

  1. Can you tell which of the kids (is there a collective for child-ducks? Brood? Clutch?) might be male or female yet? A touch of color, or something, somewhere?

    1. Oh, do you really want to know that. Hear of a chicken sexer? Don’t know if it works the same on the ducks but probably does. Involves a squeezing and a bump.

      1. There are several names for groups of ducks though I didn’find any specifically for ducklings. I like a paddling of ducks even if its only supposed to be used when they are in water.

        O/w brood or clutch will do.

    1. Well, since there are 8 ducklings …

      Maybe Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack?

  2. So your point-and-shoot camera is mallardaptive–or maybe not mallardaptive. (Not sure which way that pun should point and shoot.)

    1. One of the consequences of dabbling in photography, I guess.

      The ducklings have grown so much! They still have those white “eyespot” markings on their backs – wonder if they act as any sort of deterrent?

  3. That’s so cool! Last summer I helped raise a family of Ravens…I was hoping they’d be back this year but so far no show. Thanks for taking care of the ducklings!

  4. Won’t the Super Soaker’s stream just be “water off a duck’s back” as the saying goes? Such things do work well with cats. That much is certain.

  5. If I lived near you we could put bands on their legs (special bird banding permit required). That way you could tell if they’re the same birds. Maybe a reader close to you is a bander or knows of one. We band birds in our backyard and had the same male cardinal for 7 years!!

    1. But Johnson’s opinion is scarcely the final word and the therapeutic value of ducklings is disputed by authors.

      Nearly half a century later, Keats wrote, ‘Duckling, I listen and for many a time have been half in love with easeful death.’

      However, 80 years later, Thomas Hardy, clearly a confused non-biologist, was inspired and encouraged by a duckling thrush.

    1. I imagine the ducks will sort themselves out, birds, perhaps after a bit of fuss, tend to work out amongst themselves what the required living space is. I’d bet that the pond can never get overcrowded due to instinctual “personal bubbles”, if you will.

  6. One cannot grow tired of ducklings, as they don’t stay ducklings for long. One can, however, grow tired of seeing duckling pictures…for one would rather be seeing them in the flesh, or, well, in the fluff. I do wish I could spend some quality time with the little buggers.

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