Friday: Duck report

June 8, 2018 • 3:00 pm

All is well in Botany Pond this Friday; everybody is healthy and well fed. There are still eight ducklings, but I can’t name them as I can’t tell them apart.  Here they are this morning with one of the burgeoning population of turtles:

This morning the brood decided to congregate on the duck ramp, which appears to be used by the turtles for sunning and by the ducklings as a convenient place to stand. Nobody seems to actually use it to exit the pond.

Morning postprandial bath, with the usual splashing and preening:

Eating corn and Starter Waterfowl Chow on the grass. They are ravenous today, and I can see that I was wise to order another fifty pounds of the stuff (it’s arrived). But I’m sure that once they’re even larger, I’ll be ordering a lot more. I’m a Duck Farmer now!

Frank got some corn, too:

Two views of the girl responsible for it all: my beloved Honey. Her blue speculum is particularly lovely this year.

As the ducklings get older, they get more brazen and independent. Here they are congregated on the bank while Honey is elsewhere—chasing Henry out of the pond!


25 thoughts on “Friday: Duck report

  1. Her blue speculum is particularly lovely this year.

    I dunno, whenever I hear that word — “speculum” — I’m immediately taken back to the first time I drove a girlfriend back and forth to the gynecologist and, on the ride home, asked her “So, how’d it go?”

    1. On a popular bird forum a teen-age boy newly into birding related a story about recently coming across the word “speculum” in the birding literature and decided to Google it; NOT exactly what he was expecting…

  2. I do enjoy reading these updates and following the progress of the duck family. I worry a bit that the ducklings are perhaps too dependent on your feeding? They will need to fend and forage for themselves one day. Will you wean them off a bit or will they just become semi-domesticated?

    1. They already fend for themselves most of the time. What Jerry gives them is supplementary feeding. He’s basically ensuring Honey can fledge all eight remaining ducklings instead of just 2-3.

      No one says this about the bird feeders people have, for example, that enable more birds to survive the winter.

      They have a natural instinct to forage, and Jerry has posted plenty of pics of them doing just that. They don’t spend the majority of the hours each day that he’s not there waiting for him.

      Remember too that he did this last year and all the ducks and ducklings flew off for warmer climes at the appropriate time.

      1. Thanks. I am aware that bird feeders enable more birds to survive. It will be great to see all the duckling make it to adulthood, knowing that in the wild only 1 or 2 might. But when Jerry mentioned 50 pound bags or more, that seems an awful lot. I just worry it will be tougher on them when they do make the decision to go on their own if they rely too much on the duck chow. Of course, that’s nature’s way as well.

        1. It seemed like a lot to me, too, but then I thought of how many mouths he has to feed, eight fast growing little ones and three adults. All of them will be so healthy when they’re ready to fly on their way.

        2. Sorry if I sounded sharp. It’s just that the same thing has been said before, and the same response has been made before. I also tend to defend Jerry because he’s a friend as well as our host, so I get a bit carried away.

          50lbs does sound a lot, but there are eleven ducks, and it’s quite a while before it’s time for them to fly off, and it’s cheaper buying in bulk. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to buy more before the season is out.

  3. I am enjoying the reports about your duck farming career and also wondering whether Ceiling Duck is behind this greatest duck story ever told.
    Surely you must be thinking about giving the brood biblical names.

  4. I think you should name all 8 of them “Darryl.” It can be used for both genders, and when they introduce themselves to other ducks, they can say “This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother, Darryl…”

    (Reference: 5yyB06HvAjI?t=2m54s)

  5. One problem for the ducklings is feral cats. Yes, I know that it is hard to believe that a member of PCC(e)’s beloved species would harm PCC(e)’s ducklings but it is a fact. The facilities people have a solution which you can see in the fourth picture. They put up temporary fences.

  6. Did you notice the Amazing Fact that your Duck Ramp is BENT!! How can “Science” even begin to explain it?? It wasn’t bent when you installed it, but now it clearly is! Malevolent forces at work? Revenge of Deepak? A true Mystery that only some Religion can possibly explain!

  7. How fast they grow! Seems like it was only a handful of days ago that they could fit in a duck egg. 🙂

  8. She’s chasing the wrong guy out of the pond! Henry’s a keeper I tells ya! Frank needs to get a job lol.

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