The DuckCam and Botany Pond website are live!

There is now an official university website for the Botany Pond Camera, as well as new social media sites and a YouTube site. The website is called “On Botany Pond.” There’s also a Twitter site (@OnBotanyPond), where the University can post duck and pond pictures, and a Hashtag site, #OnBotanyPond, where you can share your own thoughts and photos.

First the official website (click on screenshot to visit). The cover photo was taken by a University photographer:

Note that there are five links, including “Meet Honey the Duck” (I’m not yet sure that the picture on that page is Honey, but rest assured we’ll get it right).

Clicking on the LiveCam takes you to a 24/7 view of most of the pond (not all of it is visible, but what you can see covers most of the action). Or you can watch the pond live on YouTube at the site below, which is part of the website. Right now you’ll be able to see Wingman and his buddy swimming around, as the hens are still on the nest.

Fortunately, when I fell into the pond this morning (a first, and that post will be up later), it wouldn’t have been visible as it would be just out of view at the lower right corner of the screen.  But you’ll probably see me on camera feeding and tending the ducks from time to time. Look for the old guy with shaggy hair tossing food to the waterfowl.

Note that the University’s first tweet on its site was a retweet of a lovely drake photo (Wingman?) by Arne Duncan (below) You’ll remember Duncan as the man who served as Obama’s Secretary of Education for seven years.

Go knock yourself out, and in a week there will be ducklings.


  1. GBJames
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Remember when our federal government had competent government officials? I miss those days.

  2. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Nice view of the pond! Pretty high resolution.

  3. JezGrove
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Wonderful! Sorry to hear about your accident this morning – there’s a horrible inevitability about it happening on the very day that the DuckCam officially went live.

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I wonder if I’ll be able to persuade my wife to use a Honey background in her next Zoom meeting?

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink


  5. enl
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    very fine job they did setting this up. Congratulations to you for pushing this to fruition.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Maybe you should get a lifeguard at the pond?

    I have already sent information on the Botany Pond and YouTube live feed to a few people. Should let as many people know as possible.

  7. sugould
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Opening day jitters? Good that it was off-camera as to not mar the official launch!

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Thought I just saw a familiar lookin’ fella in a Hawaiian shirt out there.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Duck farmer.

  9. Roger
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I was hoping they would call it “Everybody duck, a duck for everybody.”

  10. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t there be a clear credit given to the duck farmers, clever maintenance, and especially PCC(E)? For all their effort and care over the years? For the narrative and storytelling? The naming?

    I apologize if I seem defensive but I feel there is substantial work and care behind this. A simple “hashtag” seems not to capture that.

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Honey has the ability to quack on Botany Pond…

      • JezGrove
        Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Doh! That was supposed to be reply to Paul below.

  11. Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Very cool! I hope you are going to tweet prior to your feedings and other ducking around sessions? Do you have the ability to tweet on @OnBotanyPond?

    • Posted April 28, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      No, I don’t, but I might ask.

      • Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        I tried using the form on the website but, as far as I can tell, nothing happened. Not sure what I expected it to do exactly. Perhaps tweet on my behalf? Anyway, perhaps they’re still working out the bugs.

        I appreciate that the university is putting serious effort into this. It’s especially welcome in these pandemic times.

  12. phar84
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable to watch, thanks.

  13. Posted April 28, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Very nice, congratulations Jerry and Honey! And hats off to the University of Chicago too.

  14. JezGrove
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    It’s a busier place (in terms of human activity) than I was expecting. Hopefully they’ll keep their distance from the pond more when the ducklings are there.

    • SDF
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Actually this is fairly quiet when students, faculty and staff are on campus the pond has visitors almost all day long.

  15. Mark R.
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


  16. boudiccadylis
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Is the pond spring fed? I saw something pushing the water about quite vigorously.
    Am patiently awaiting the duck hoard.

    • SDF
      Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      There are pumps and filters in the pond that help keep the water moving and monitor the water level. PCC can probably explain in more detail.

  17. Steve Barnes
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    This is my favoured news of the day – I’m sure I’ll have it on a display regularly. It seems worth celebrating, but I’ll at least share it around a little.

    Thanks to you and the university for helping expose more than a glimpse of biology and community to the world.

  18. Peter (Oz) Jones
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Sitting in my chair in Queensland, Australia and watching the shimmering pond surface reflecting that bare tree on the other side of the globe.

    So looking forward to seeing those fluff balls.

    Mind boggling,
    thanks to our host & support crew.

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