Sunday: Duck report

I believe it’s nesting season, as both of the hens (Honey and Dorothy) have taken to sitting on the ledges of Erman, the building that overlooks Botany Pond. In the meantime, Wingman sits in the pond, viciously expelling any interloper drake who comes by. (They are few now.)

Here’s Dorothy on her customary third-floor perch from yesterday morning:

She wasn’t quacking yesterday, just sitting there placidly and looking out. I suspect they’re scoping out nest sites, but they’re not yet building any, so I’m a bit puzzled.

Closer up:

The bill patterns, with the dot on the right side of her bill, tells you it’s Dorothy. I’m beginning to suspect she’s Honey’s daughter, as they’re almost inseparable.

The other side of Dorothy’s bill, also matching what we’ve seen before:

And a view from below:

Last year Honey nested on the third floor on the fourth window from the right. Yesterday afternoon she was sitting right below that window, on the second floor.

A bit closer:

The bill markings, which I discerned only after I downloaded and enlarged the picture, show that this is undoubtedly Honey.

And it’s also Honey from the right side. She looks plump and healthy, and I hope she’s pondering a nest site. I can handle two broods this summer.


  1. Posted March 29, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    We cannot know for sure without DNA, but I’ve seen enough. Honey and Dorothy are mother and daughter in my judgement.

  2. Posted March 29, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    awww now the report from my daughter saying she saw a duck in the middle of the road is making more sense…

  3. Posted March 29, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Maybe they wait a while near a potential nesting site to see if it’s in some predator’s regular stomping ground.

  4. Posted March 29, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    It has recently occurred to me that this has a strong parallel to that Gary Larson cartoon about the fear that a duck is watching you. Here you can see the cartoon:

    And it is a real condition! I am rather excited by this.

  5. openidname
    Posted March 29, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Is there any evidence that ducks are partial to their adult offspring? That they even recognize their adult offspring? I don’t know one way or the other, but this has a whiff of anthropomophizing, so inquiring minds want to know.

    • Posted March 29, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      I have read that Canada geese recognize their relatives over their lives. So maybe ducks can too.

  6. Posted March 30, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, if that *very faint* dot should darken on the *left* side of Dot’s bill (not the distinct dot on the right side), then I’d be tempted to guess that she might be Phoebe!!

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