Manager’s wildlife photos—ducks!

June 16, 2019 • 9:00 am

Because I’m in transit, today’s wildlife photos will be of Anas platyrhynchos, otherwise known as the mallard. In particular, we’ll see the mallards of Botany Pond—the most famous mallards in Illinois.

Here is Anna with her eight babies, all thriving and hanging around a mud puddle. They splashed around in it and even drank the water. Ecch!

I guess, like all youngsters, they like mud.

After a feed and a muddy bath, they headed to the clean water of Botany Pond:

Here’s a video of them mucking about:

Katie’s brood is huge, and simply cannot get enough food. I regularly run out but know they can also forage on their own. Anna (the human) calls them “the angry teenagers” because they get pissed off when we run out of duck chow:

The Good Mother Katie: two formal portraits.

What a lovely speculum I have!

This is the unnamed new interloper hen with a very dark bill. I haven’t seen her for two days and hope to Ceiling Cat that she’s not sitting on eggs nearby!

You can see how ravenous Katie’s teenagers are. Here they’ve finished their duck chow and are dabbling about on the muddy bank, looking for more noms. Aren’t they huge?

And we mustn’t forget the turtles, who come out in force when it’s sunny.

This big red-eared slider draped himself across the duck ramp for maximum exposure:

 

11 thoughts on “Manager’s wildlife photos—ducks!

  1. Delightful set

    The piece of cedar is in remarkably good shape – isn’t it a year old?… or a replacement from this year…

  2. Hypothesis: Katie and Anna are Honey’s daughters.
    Question: how many of Honey’s granddaughters will be raising their brood in Botany Pond next year?

  3. I’ve seen turtles strike a pose with both rear legs lifted high for extra rays. In fact I have a picture…somewhere.

  4. Always love the ducks! It’s past time I tell this story in the Comment section. When I was a kid on an Iowa farm, we raised Mallard ducks for eating, usually on a special occasion. The flock was almost certainly descended from the flock my grandmother kept decades earlier when she sold dressed ducks to earn a bit of extra money. The story is that in order to increase the number of ducks, Dad would sometimes collect a dozen or so eggs as they were laid by the duck hens and give them to one of the broody, free-range bantam chickens (which we did not eat). When the eggs hatched, it was great fun to watch the chicken escort her duckling babies around the farm to find food. Of course, the ducklings took to water and no amount of clucking and display by the chicken would get them out of the puddle where they happily bathed and foraged. If a cat came by, the chicken defended her babies as if they were chicks, and of course she covered them at night and in the heavy rain. Meanwhile, the duck hen simply laid more eggs, eventually raising a brood of her own. Jerry’s ducks have a very different future.

  5. They splashed around in it and even drank the water. Ecch!

    Seeking “minerals” potentially. More specifically (and therefore more likely to be wrong), clay minerals (“mud”) can have a calming effect on loose bowels.
    Or maybe part of the point is the presence of adult bird’s excrement – to help get their gut microbiota better aligned with their diet, because they should emerge from the egg without a gut microbiota.
    That said, Duck eggs are notorious for picking up Salmonella sp. in the uterine tract before the mineral shell is laid down.

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