Sunday: Duck report

June 24, 2018 • 2:15 pm

I was going to write another post today: about immigration, the Wall, and Andrew Sullivan, but I see people are busy crowing about Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s demonization, which makes another post superfluous, and also makes me disheartened.

Let’s talk instead about DUCKS! Here’s today’s report on Anas platyrhynchos in Botany pond.  First, a video from Friday taken by Anna. She was standing on the far side of the pond with the family, and I came walking out of the building. Anna claims (and I believe her, of course) that when Honey saw me, she perked up, and then so did the ducklings. In other words, before I had said a word or whistled, and before I even was close to the ducks, Honey recognized me from at least thirty yards away as The Feeder. Judge for yourself below; you can hear Anna talking to the camera.

I think this is true because when I came out in the dawn this morning with the food, and was at the same place, with the family at the place below, they immediately all piled into the water and headed toward their feeding spot. My ducks know me!

Early morning feeding yesterday, with the family roaming on the grass. That’s when I can give them corn. Look at the size of those ducklings!

Bathtime after noon feeding. For some reason the ducklings love to splash about in this shallow cement circle (you can see the ramp I built earlier, now submerged). Perhaps it’s because they can actually stand up in some parts of the “tub”:

There’s turtle action too, of course—if you can call it “action”—but the hard freeze apparently killed off all the koi (goldfish) that were there last year. But there are a gazillion turtles, and their place in the ecosystem is to clean up any uneaten duck food. (Anna, who’s soft on turtles, actually feeds them.) Bathtime with reptiles and their avian relatives:

Bathtime is my favorite time. Dabbling, cleaning, swimming underwater and popping up, and sometimes “zooming”, when all the ducks, without any apparent cause, swim as fast as they can across the pond.

And some portraits of Ms. Honey:

Mit Kind. The youngsters are starting to approach the appearance of Mom. I wish I could tell male from female ducklings. I’d like to have a goodly proportion of females this year.


12 thoughts on “Sunday: Duck report

  1. Lovely.. I have baby downy woodpeckers, nuthatches, caliopes, chickadees, more songbirds and lots of different waterfowl – all with protective moms (and some dads). No family separation!!!

  2. The ducks look good. I would not wonder too much about the outcome of many of the comments. My grandfather told me long ago – to soon we get old, too late we get smart.

  3. Such a successful family effort. Enjoying every minute of the reporting.

    So, I’m wondering about long term planning. Have you thought yet about the entire clan coming back next spring? PCC, hope you have the budget to feed approximately five hens and about 30+ ducklings. Then of course there would be the disruptive presence of about 6-8 drakes trying to scoop the duckling’s food. You will need an army of volunteers – maybe start recruitment campaign mid-winter.

    Gotta be planning for the future here.

  4. I don’t see people crowing about SHS. I see some for, some agin, and some of us struggling with the issue.

    I, for one, would like to hear what you’ve got to say about immigration, the Wall, and Andrew Sullivan.

  5. Soft on turtles? Soft on turtles leads to people marrying their laptops. Didn’t anyone ever hear of the slippery slope fallacy?

  6. There’s something about the last photo that I really like – composition I think – the Mom in back, looking out, the youngun in foreground, curled around…

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