Management’s wildlife videos and photos: ducklings and duck battles.

We have five videos today, the first taken by me and the rest made by other kind souls. The first and last are peaceful, the other three show nature red in tooth and claw (but nobody got hurt!)

First, two photos from May 13 of Honey’s “brood” (not all hers, of course).

The gang:

Ducklings on the ramp:

The proud and beloved Honey, now in her fourth year of cranking out ducklings. Look at her lovely speculum!

And with a mixed brood:

My video: Dorothy’s brood the day after they jumped (taken May 6), and one day before Honey arrived and began purloining the brood. Note that there are ten.

 

The next three videos were recorded by reader Sara Lackie from the PondCam. I’ve given her descriptions of the action in her words:

May 7 (the day Honey’s brood jumped off the ledge): “Drakes chase hen off island, aerial battle, Jerry wields the Super Soaker.”

May 8: “Big aerial battle, Wingman (I think) attacks another drake, drake attacks hen, spectators on shore have to ‘duck’

 

May 8: “Drake attacks hen, gets good grip on her tail and won’t let go, Wingman (again, presumably) drives him off.”

This video was made by my colleague Jean Greenberg. It shows the brood jumping the fence—or trying to—to get to Mom. They vary in their abilities, but are united in their resolve, and all eventually make it. The little buggers have very powerful legs!

 

9 Comments

  1. Andrea Kenner
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Way too much drama for a little bucolic pond! The ducklings grow so fast! I love seeing them flap their stubby wings!

  2. rickflick
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    The brood goes into preening mode all together. I think it must be an instinct to copycat. There must be some kind of inner monologue that observes and comments to itself.

  3. Robie
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    This morning, I finally got around to reading yesterday’s Tribune article. She did a nice job of covering the drama. “Death-defying leaps from tall buildings! Violent feuding! A fired gun!”

    I hope the heron (also mentioned in the article) has not returned. I normally like seeing them, but if there is a time and a place for everything, duckling season at Botany Pond is not the time or place for a heron!

    • Dominic
      Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Come on – poor herons need to eat as well! 😬

    • Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      The ducklings are so cute when they’re young, but it’s a huge relief when they grow bigger and gangly, and the heron no longer goes after them!

  4. Jenny Haniver
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Its great to see close-ups of the little peepers.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    May 7 (the day Honey’s brood jumped off the ledge): “Drakes chase hen off island, aerial battle, Jerry wields the Super Soaker.” …

    May 8: “Big aerial battle, Wingman (I think) attacks another drake, drake attacks hen, spectators on shore have to ‘duck’ …

    The First and Second Battles of Botany Pond, 2020 Campaign (although I suppose were we to use Confederate naming conventions, they would be “First Hyde Park” and “Second Hyde Park”).

  6. Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Great footage! I’m glad people were able to glean those segments from the webcam. I tried to record it from the webcam but my hands were too shaky.


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