Duck report: Tuesday

July 10, 2018 • 11:30 am

Professor Ceiling Cat here: I’ll be back in action tomorrow after a refreshing and well-deserved break. In the meantime, the ducklings (and I have trouble using that word) are so big that I can barely tell them apart from Honey. Her tail is whiter and head lighter, but I can mainly spot her by her position: behind the ducks standing guard. In the meantime, she’s observing them using their new dabbling skills. Here’s a video by Anna called “the Super Dabbler”. Note that at one point Anna tosses duckling pellets to them.

And a few photos. First, feeding time yesterday, when they ran off the grass and jumped into the water, swimming across the pond to me to be fed:

Honey standing guard at postprandial bathtime. How can you not love a duck mom who is this attentive?

When I feed ducklings corn in the water, I try to throw it on lily pads so they can get it before it sinks. Here’s four of them foraging for corn. Note that although their heads are greenish, that does not mean these will become males. The sexes can’t be easily told apart before they fledge.

A full view of a “duckling”. I think their wings are so large that they’ll soon be able to fly. But perhaps ornithologists can tell me if their primary flight feathers are sufficiently large.

And a honking big turtle barely managing to support itself on a lily pad, where they love to get sun.


17 thoughts on “Duck report: Tuesday

    1. These are great close-ups, and I love Honey’s expression in the second photo. Proud mother, good mother.

    All along the backwater,
    Through the rushes tall,
    Ducks are a-dabbling,
    Up tails all!

    Ducks’ tails, drakes’ tails,
    Yellow feet a-quiver,
    Yellow bills all out of sight
    Busy in the river!

    Slushy green undergrowth
    Where the roach swim–
    Here we keep our larder,
    Cool and full and dim.

    Everyone for what he likes!
    WE like to be
    Heads down, tails up,
    Dabbling free!

    High in the blue above
    Swifts whirl and call–
    WE are down a-dabbling
    Up tails all!

    –Kenneth Grahame (from The Wind in the Willows)

  2. Do young ducks have relatively consistently colored bills, whereas older ones develop more splotchy bills?

      1. Thought about that & understand. Still, it could be cool to know if any of the kids come back next year. The banding people might have some input on how disturbing it is, especially if you’re there afterward with corn & mealworms.

  3. dabble, shake tail; dabble, shake tail; dabble, shake tail (repeat). Even though the tail never gets wet.

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