A duck teaser

Spot the mallard hen! There will be no answer; you simply have to find her yourself.

Yes, it’s Honey, and tomorrow I’ll show close-up pictures to prove it.

Click to enlarge:


  1. ploubere
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    There she is. This seems like new behavior.

    • Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      No, remember that Honey nested on the second floor ledge last year. I have to look this up, but it may even be the same window.

      • rickflick
        Posted March 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        The elevation must be an instinct that became fixed in other species like wood ducks and whistling ducks. They nest in tree hollows and are comfortable landing on branches.

        • Jonathan Wallace
          Posted March 29, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

          In quite a few duck and goose species the chicks fall stupendous distances from nests in trees, on buildings or on cliffs (depending on the species in question). Being very light and fluffy these seem to bounce down without (usually) coming to any harm from the fall.

          The up side of nesting at height is that the eggs are not vulnerable to predators such as foxes that can be a significant cause of nest failure in ground nesting birds.

          • rickflick
            Posted March 29, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

            Yes. You can see the trade off between tree and ground. Both have advantages.

      • Posted March 28, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        I thought it was the third floor, but you are Duck Man, my favorite super hero, so you should know.

        • Jan Looman
          Posted March 29, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          I thought third floor as well. The bottom windows must be for a partial basement.

  2. rickflick
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Has she been staying up there, or is this just a momentary event?

    • Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      She was there for a while this afternoon. I think it’s the beginning of NESTING TIME, and she and Dot are scoping out their nest sites.

  3. Posted March 28, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Was she quacking?

    • Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Not on the ledge, though on the third-floor ledge I’ve seen Dorothy quacking twice.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        It’s like the Nortons living on the floor upstairs from the Kramdens in The Honeymooners. 🙂

  4. Laurance
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    There she is! I found her, too!

    The governor of PA has just shut down our county as of 8 this evening. (The map looks weird. Counties on either edge of PA are shelter in place, and then there’s open space, and there in the middle we are, with Penn State a ghost town, and now we’re shut down, too.)

    So with all this scary virus nastiness it’s a happy comfort to look for our Special Duck.

    My daughter and I went for a Socially Distant walk yesterday evening, and there in the creek some three blocks downstream from where the ducks congregate was a big white duck. I wondered if someone’s pet had gotten loose. My daughter said that on very rare occasions she’s seen a white duck among the mallards.

    Hooray for ducks! Hooray for cats. (And yes. hooray for d-gs, too.)

    • Posted March 28, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Thanks; this is a good reminder that it violates no quarantine restrictions to go to the park and feed the ducks. I remind readers not to give them bread, but stick to stuff like frozen corn, peas, greens, or freeze-dried mealworms.

  5. Maren
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Professor Ceiling Cat,

    Since you love ducks, we thought you might appreciate photos of a pair of mallards in our Seattle neighborhood. The past few years they’ve visited our bird feeding area for a few weeks each spring. They mostly eat the millet we put out for juncos, towhees, and other ground feeders. The last couple of weeks we’ve been giving them the good stuff, millet mixed with peanuts and sunflower chips. Last year we supplemented the millet with frozen corn which they quickly depleted but this year the corn stays in the freezer as part of our social distancing supplies.

    As a side note, we used your Paris travel postings to plan a trip there with friends in September of 2018. We had spectacular and comfortably warm sunny weather every day except one, walked 70 miles in 10 days, and visited several sites and restaurants you recommended. And like you, lunch was frequently our main meal of the day, usually followed by a museum visit or walk to another part of the city. So, thank you for your insights that helped us have the most enjoyable and memorable trip of our lifetime.

    Dave & Maren

    • Posted March 28, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t seen the photos, but send them along. I’m very glad I was of help to you in your trip to Paris. Eating at bistros and restaurants is, of course, essential for the Paris Experience!

  6. Posted March 28, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    This could be a Gary Larson cartoon. The description:

    Two scientists standing outside of their laboratory. One says to the other “I’m telling you, Jenkins, it’s like I always get this feeling that an evil duck is watching my every move!”

    • Robie
      Posted March 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      I was trying to think of an ominous-duck caption as well. I didn’t think of Gary Larson directly, but I’ve always liked him, so I bet that’s why I was thinking along those lines.

  7. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear about your crook back! Are you able to get out to feed the ducks? Or do you have an assistant duck farmer with permission to enter the campus?

    • Posted March 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      I would feed the ducks so long as I was able to stand and walk, so yes, I am going over there for the usual feedings. There is an assistant duck farmer should I be unable to get to campus or if (knock on wood) I’m hospitalized.

      No worries!

  8. flexilis
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Found her!
    Where I live I have only seen mallard nests on the ground near water, never elevated. But twice I have seen Canada goose nests in unusual places. One was in a tree, possibly an old nest of some other bird. Another was high on a cliff ledge above a river.

  9. Roger
    Posted March 28, 2020 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Spot the human.

    • A C Harper
      Posted March 29, 2020 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      “Spot the mallard hen!”

      What a strange name for a duck.

      • Posted March 29, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        I am being biologically accurate.

        • A C Harper
          Posted March 29, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          It was a riff on the name Data gave to his cat (Spot the Cat) as an attempt at humour on Star Trek.

    • Roger
      Posted March 29, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Cool stories guys but did anyone spot the human.

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