We’re down to two hens, and one is Honey

I’m on a campaign to change the description of female mallards from “hens” to “queens”.  “Hen” has a dowdy air about it—like a broody chicken—and doesn’t fit the regal nature of a female duck. (I want to call the males “rapists” rather than “drakes”.)

But I digress. The number of ducks in Botany Pond is, as I hoped, waning, for I decided to stop feeding all the drakes and giving most of the food to Honey (I did toss a few tidbits to the other queens). Happily, this afternoon there were only two queens and two Weinsteins in the pond, and, as the photos below show, one of them is Honey. The other queen is her companion, and I gave her an ample lunch as well.

Here’s the right side of Honey’s bill (it was hard to focus) with its characteristic “dog-chasing-motorcycle” pattern along with three semi-vertical dots and the distal dark triangle.

Here’s Honey’s friend, whom I haven’t yet named. She has one big black dot behind the black markings on her bill.  We’ll see if she stays.

The two drakes didn’t get food. I want them to leave so the Patriarchy at the pond will be dismantled. (Or should I call it the “drakearchy”?)

16 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I want to call the males “rapists” rather than “drakes”.

    LOL.

    Did you pick this up from a Titania McGrath tweet?

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Jerry Coyne, mallard misandrist.

  3. Steve Cameron
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Or the rapiarchy?

  4. Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Best laugh out loud of the day. Weinsteins! Love it!!!!

  5. Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, the second queen has a very distinctive bill. Maybe if you look at the kids’ photos from last year, you might find that she is one of your previous guests?

    • Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Good point. I’ll look, but as I recall they didn’t have well-developed bill stippling then.

      Thanks!

  6. Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    LOL! That is one of the very few times I have typed that.
    What ‘woke-ish’ term would apply to their human caretaker? There are so few kind and positive terms in woke-ish.

  7. Linda Calhoun
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    A queen is a sexually intact female cat.

    L

    • Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I know, but there’s no reason why it can’t be applied to an honorary cat. After all “cubs” are applied to bears, to big cats, and so on.

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        And a kit is a baby fox.

  8. Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    How about ‘seraglio’ instead of ‘drakearchy’? Would you consider naming Honey’s companion Katie Peck?

  9. Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Gee, I didn’t think you’d be able to get rid of those excess ducks that easily.

    • Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s not over yet. It was very cold today–just above freezing, and the others could return.

      • chris english
        Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        A decoy coyote might deter the others from returning.


%d bloggers like this: