Too many ducks!

March 10, 2020 • 2:30 pm

Well, Honey is still here, and is the dominant duck in the pond, able to drive away all other hens and drakes within her feeding radius:

The problem is that there are too many ducks. While there were three drakes and three hens a few days ago, now there are eight hens and thirteen drakes! In view of this crowding, which causes fights, quacking, and flights, I’ve decided to take action. 

From now on I’ll feed only Honey until most of the ducks have escaped the pandemonium—and I fervently hope they will. I can identify Honey not just by her bill, but by her dominant behavior, and at lunchtime today she was the only duck who got fed. (I toss a little food just within a foot of her, and she drives off the interlopers. Then I toss more food until she’s had a meal.)  This may be unfair to the other hens (I don’t care about the drakes, who have done their job and should leave), but I can’t handle eight broods in the pond this spring!

29 thoughts on “Too many ducks!

  1. Told ya. And it’s just the beginning! Good grief! Look what your love of a duck hath wrought. I shouldn’t laugh because it is a serious problem, no laughing matter, but I just can’t help quacking up.

    Hope your solution works. Otherwise, contact The Donald (not the duck) — he, and only he knows how to keep illegals out.

    1. To be fair, Orwell got there first:

      “Some ducks are more equal than others”

      (in his early draft, “Duck Farm”).

      Also the notion of carrying capacity in population biology. In this case PCC(E)’s capacity re carrying duck food.

      1. Remember, it was bad enough last year. I told PCC(E) in jest that this year he’d need a forklift for the feed. But in truth he’s got to do something to limit the population. “Some ducks are more equal than others” and Honey and her upcoming family are the most equal but how can PCC(E) protect Honey and her brood from the others fighting for pride of place? I don’t know a whole lot about carrying capacity (I’m reading up) but a bunch of horny ducks in a protected environment, and plenty of food sounds like the makings of a big mess. And what about the multiplication of offspring and generations? Then they’ll have babies, more ducks will arrive later in the year and repeat the cycle and all of those, and more, will return next year.

        1. I am going to cease and desist from ragging on the population explosion at Botany Pond (at least for the time being). PCC(E) and Honey have the situation in hand and my remarks are becoming de trop..

          1. In folk terms carry capacity is simply too many mouths to feed and eating yourself out of house and home (ie, destroying your habitat).

            The problem here, rather, seems to be a certain deus ex machina. You interfere, then find you have interfere some more. One of the drawbacks of trying to play God!

            Oops! Anyway, I sense a parable coming on. And will watch with interest to see what it turns out to be.

  2. Get your ducks in a row?
    I don’t remember from previous seasons, but maybe right now some of them were in the same migrating group, and they are merely laying over for a bit before flying on to their summer homes.

  3. An embarrassment of riches, as it were.

    Good to see our gal Honey lettin’ those other ducks around Botany Pond know what’s what.

  4. The problem is that there are too many ducks. … I’ve decided to take action. … From now on I’ll feed only Honey until most of the ducks have escaped the pandemonium …

    Oh, so your gonna do an Obamacare “death panel” FEMA-camp number on ’em, huh? 🙂

  5. You are the Sorcerer’s Apprentice! The more hens and chicks you feed, the more you will have returning next year. Soon you won’t be able to see the surface of the pond!

  6. Well, could it be that you may be disturbing the natural order of “duck life” at Botany Pond by artificially providing food for the duck broods- enabling an overpopulation??? Good luck correcting the situation🤦‍♂️

    1. Oh, please, give me a break. The “natural order of duck life” used to include a lot of mortality.

      In the past four years, we’ve had almost no mortality. Do not make snarky comments like this any more.

      There’s not one iota of kindness or understanding in your comment, and, frankly, I’m getting tired of this kind of discourse.

  7. If you have a small garden pond, a duck is like a bull in a china shop.
    They eat your frog spawn tadpoles and other small inhabitants, uproot your waterplants,trample and squash your waterside plants and shit your place full, leaving your small, once beautiful and biodiverse little pond a stinking, muddy pool.
    Ducks need large ponds, and the higher their numbers, the larger the pond needed.

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