Monday: Duck report

June 25, 2018 • 2:30 pm

All is well in Botany Pond: the turtles are thriving and getting lots of sun, and the ducklings are HUGE (and still eight in number):

They’re not as big as Honey, but they’re getting there:

They’ve lost all of their down, and are now filling in their feathers. I still can’t sex them, but with the help of Tara Tanaka I learned that juveniles can sometimes be distinguished because the upper tail coverts of males are tipped with green, while those of females are brown. At this point I can’t see a difference, but the chance that all eight ducks are of one sex is  2 X (½ to the eighth power) or 0.008 (.8%).

It’s hard to feed them and take photos at the same time, but here I’ve just tossed them corn, which is hitting the water. The ducklings are good at dabbling now, and can easily get corn before it sinks to the bottom. As always, Honey is behind the brood and watching attentively.

BATHTIME! As usual, they use one of the cement rings as a bathtub:

And the obligatory picture of Duck of the Year:

16 thoughts on “Monday: Duck report

  1. Are they still ducklings? Is there a word for duck teenagers?

    Now Honey needs to pay less attention to her brood and start putting on weight. We want her back next year. So Honey – GET FAT!!!! And avoid anyone (particularly Chinese) with a cleaver.

    1. She doesn’t look too skinny to me, and I try to make sure she gets a decent amount of food at mealtime, though she always eats less than the ducklings. And remember, they’ll fly away and she will stay behind for several weeks while she’s molting.

  2. They’re getting so big! Honey and her crew are lucky to have such a caring ‘uncle’!

    Thanks for sharing your avian family with us all — I look forward to the duck reports every(ish) day.

    1. Me too. It’s the highlight of my day. Who knew we can all get so attached to duckies not even in the same country as me? Thanks to PCCE for doing this. Very touching.

    2. Now that they’re getting bigger and less physically vulnerable to predators, it might be time for a fatherly (or unclish) chat about the dangers facing the young adult: drugs, fast cars, and STDs – which are emphatically NOT caught by pooping in public ponds.

      I also wonder if any of them will choose to identify as turtles?

      Not that there’s…etc.

  3. That’s a very handsome photo of Honey, with the water of the pond taking on an almost abstract expressionist cast, and imparting its reflected colors to Honey’s feathers and bill.

  4. Just wait till next year when they all come back to nest. Not speaking from experience, but as a friend of someone who had such an experience.

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