Quick duck report

April 4, 2020 • 2:30 pm

I have more videos and pictures of Honey, Dorothy, and Wingman, but no time today (it’s supposed to be my day off). Perhaps tomorrow.

Let me put up just two pictures.  First, Honey’s nest. As predicted, there were six eggs there today since there were five at the same time yesterday (mallards lay one per day). I have no idea how many she’ll ultimately lay, but it won’t be much more than a week until she sits firmly on the eggs and starts incubating. She’s also started pulling out her breast feathers to line the nest. Here are the six eggs, indicated with red arrows, from about 11 a.m.  (It’s very hard to focus through the window and screen using a point-and-shoot.)

Here’s Dame Honey having a post-laying lunch around 11:30 a.m. Look at those beautiful brown eyes!

The University has also responded to the tremendous interest in Honey’s story (I’m told that it went “viral” on social media) by suggesting that perhaps they can put up a webcam by her nest to show her incubation and, perhaps, the Big Leap in about five weeks. This is an idea (what do you think?), but of course it will not be done unless it can be installed without disturbing her, which might make her abandon the nest. Right now it looks to be difficult, but the technical people and I are thinking about it.

18 thoughts on “Quick duck report

  1. A webcam would be quite a treat. If you can get in to take these pictures, a webcam should be possible, the question being where the window is (office, public space, storage). Is there a way to cam Dorothy’s?

    1. The window is in a public stairwell, and it has to be covered up during incubation. That’s the problem with putting a webcam there (plus the window and screen occlude visibility).

      We’re working on Dorothy, but I haven’t been able to get into the mechanical room which has the window ledge on which she nested. That might be a better bet as nobody goes in there.

      1. Thank you for the follow up.

        A public stair is not a great bet for a camera, power likely being the issue. The mech room sounds promising.

  2. I sense celebrity status – but, webcams are small. Tower girl is cool with it, so, should be ok?…

  3. Kardashians move over? Reality tv stardom is never a good thing in my eyes. I would leave mommy in peace

  4. Google Maps, I am delighted to find, recognises ‘Botany Pond, Chicago’, so I am able to stroll around it in 3D.

    It also recognises ‘Nuclear Energy, Chicago’ a statue by Henry Moore less than a block away marking the site of Enrico Fermi’s first ever self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

    With that kind of brain-power traditional at UofC I am sconfident all of Honey’s (and our) needs will be met!

    1. If anyone else is having trouble locating Botany Pond, try this address:
      1101 E 57th ST
      Chicago, IL 60637

  5. Duck note (probably not new): just happened to be checking out HBO’s free SHBO offerings (used to sub, haven’t for a year), and there was the Sopranos, so I checked in to the Pilot episode and there was Tony with his ducks in the pool. And he’d built a ramp for them. I almost expected Jerry to pop up in the background, Jerry Rothstein, perhaps.

  6. I would love to see the babies hatch! There are many webcams of nests around the world, and considering the times, it would be great to see something positive.

  7. It will be great if a webcam could allow us observe to Honey’s and Dorothy’s nest sitting, the safe arrival of their ducklings and, hopefully, the ducklings when they leave the nest.

    1. Yes, but it has to be installed within a few days, and I doubt they can do that. More important, I don’t see how it can be done without disturbing Honey, and that is my main consideration. I’m doing my best.

  8. Please don’t disturb Honey. Jerry is doing a great job in keeping us apprised of the developments with the ducks. I understand the allure of the webcam but I thin Honey would prefer checkups from Jerry than lots of people she doesn’t know, watching her every move. My feelings on this matter are moderate and not incredibly strong.

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