Duck pics: May 23

I’ve been remiss in posting duck pictures, but my hands have been full tending them. Most of these pictures of Honey and her brood (with a few exceptions) were taken four days ago, on May 20, and the dates of the videos are given below.

First, the usual pandemonium on the “beach”, with sleeping ducklings interspersed with turtles (red-eared sliders) while Mom looks on.

Turtle and duckies live together in perfect harmony.  You can see that the ducklings have grown a lot.

 

A lovely little girl takes in the spectacle.

This was a first for me: a duckling sitting and then sleeping atop a large turtle!

The turtle even moved a bit, and the duckling, who got a short free ride, didn’t even wake up.

Honey sitting on her favorite place in the pond: a big clump of grass that, sadly, is close to the fence, so she’s abandoned it since she’s so often disturbed there by gawkers. Notice Wingman standing guard above; the drake is worth his weight in gold.

What’s under her when she sits on the clump. Aren’t they adorable?

Proud father Wingman:

Sunning on the beach:

The babies are getting elongated and assuming a more ducklike shape. Soon they’ll be in their spiked “punk” plumage:

A video of the young ‘uns learning to nibble grass:

Dorothy still comes in every day or two. Yesterday I saw her fly up to the window where she last nested, and I wonder if she’s renesting in her old nest. I am not keen on that since I don’t want Honey, who has become a Killer Duck (viz., the Rouen ducks that she attacked when some misguided person tried to introduce them into the pond), to attack a new brood of Dorothy babies (her own will be of an age so different that she won’t adopt them). When she comes, the two-timing Wingman often consorts with her.

Dorothy and Wingman:

A video of the brood sunning with turtles:

Here are two short videos taken with the phone of Jean Greenberg, my colleague who also enjoys duck watching. They show the young ones beginning to have the “zoomies”: skittering quickly over the surface of the water and diving and swimming underwater. You can hear us chatting and me answering people’s questions during the videos.

The behavior is contagious, and will get more frequent as the ducklings mature. And then, on one fine day, the skittering will turn into weak flight, and they’re on their way. It’s interesting for me to think about what goes through a duck’s brain when it first gets into the air. I’m sure they have no knowledge that they’ll develop that ability!

Stay tuned for the next installment, featuring photos of me and Sammy, the adorable duckling that I took care of for two days. He’s been rehabbed to a good wildlife shelter, and I have high hopes

16 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Maybe the baby duck is warming the turtle.

    It is possible to have little ducks pretty late into the summer. I have seen this here, last year.

  2. Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Those are truly great duckling pics. Thanks.

  3. Jenny Haniver
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    It was impossible to see the duckling atop the turtle and not be reminded of the image of the “world turtle,” the world supported on the back of a turtle https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/world-turtle-cosmic-discworld

    This is the duck version.

    • Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      It reminded me of Johnny Hart’s John the turtle and dookie bird.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Perfect!

  4. boudiccadylis
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you.

  5. Jenny Haniver
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    The “contagious diving of ducklings” is quite amusing. One even leaps out of the water to dive. They’re obviously having loads of fun.

    That’s a contagion I like and wouldn’t mind joining in if I could.

  6. Andrea Kenner
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    They’re so adorable, especially when they open their tiny little beaks.

  7. Posted May 24, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for taking the time to post these, Jerry! Your babes are so darling (as Blue would say… where is Blue nowadays anyway? I hope she’s OK).

    Your devotion to your charges is most admirable. Likewise, I’m devoted to my garden nowadays. Barely time to read anything of length…

  8. grasshopper
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    One duckling proves it is turtle all the way down, and for the turtle it is down all the way up.

  9. Michael R Mason
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Baby birds are hilarious when they fly the first time. When I had cockatiels they were surpised when they first took air after days of just flapping, then you could see they thought “Wow, this is cool!” followed shortly by “How do you work this!” followed by a crash into a wall. Steering and stopping took practice.

  10. Posted May 24, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Love these. Especially baby duck on turtle. My guess is the turtle was warm. Adorable family 😉

  11. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Those ducklings grow amazingly quickly.

  12. Posted May 24, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I especially like the expression of the turtle the duckling is on and his turtle companion behind him. They both look amazed that such an event would occur or, maybe, “Why me? Why him?”

  13. Sarah
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Are those Cumberland terrapins? They look very familiar. I used to have a little one like that.

  14. Mark R.
    Posted May 25, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Terrific!


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