Monday ducks: The glory that is Frisky

Frisky, the Botany Pond male wood duck (Aix sponsa), is still with us, though other woodies come and go. Frisky is pretty much in his full breeding plumage now, and he’s a sight to behold! These photos were taken yesterday and today.

Frisky has put on some weight since he arrived, but that’s good. He needs it for winter or for migration. (The woodies sometimes stay north, but they won’t stay here, for the pond will freeze and I’ll stop feeding the ducks soon.)


They’re called wood ducks because they perch (and nest) in trees. Frisky likes the feel of wood under his feet, and so perches on the cypress knees:

A living jewel:

And Honey is still here. She’s found herself a new boyfriend, the biggest and handsomest drake in the pond. He’s called Leviathan because of his size:



  1. GBJames
    Posted October 19, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Nice bird!

  2. EdwardM
    Posted October 19, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Question; in Mallards, is drake size a factor in a hen’s selection? I assume their coloration and behaviors are central to her choice too (I understand that in the duck world sometimes hens have no choice).

    • Posted October 19, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      I have no idea what characters hens use now to choose partners. Yes, sometimes there is forced copulation of females, but look, the males wouldn’t have those colors unless the females chose them, so I suspect that size (males are bigger than females) as well as bill color, head color, body color, and all the other ornaments of a drake in breeding plumage have been the object of female choice.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been wondering if Honey’s (apparent – really with Jerry’s help) ability to fledge so many of her ducklings helps her attract the best mates.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 25, 2020 at 12:53 am | Permalink

          I think so. They routinely consult on this very issue while dabbling. The boys talk among themselves while the girls tell all in their own clutches. By breeding season everybody knows the score.

  3. Claudia Baker
    Posted October 19, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Frisky is beautiful!

    Honey has way more luck with men than I do!

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted October 19, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Now that is funny. 🦆😊

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 19, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I suspect you are going to need more ponds there at the University. Maybe overflow 1 or annex 1.

  5. rickflick
    Posted October 19, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I find the slow accumulation of ornaments in the woodys very entertaining.

  6. jezgrove
    Posted October 19, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Lovely photos – and nice to see Honey and her beau!

  7. normwalsh
    Posted October 19, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Only a Democrat deserves to be that handsome.

  8. Posted October 19, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Wow!! I am very happy to see this development. Even if these woodies don’t come back, maybe others will catch on next season. Heres’ to hope!

  9. Steve Gerrard
    Posted October 19, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Frisky is looking great in the plumage department. He looks pretty round in some of those shots. Is it possible that he gets so big that flying is difficult?

    • Posted October 19, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      No, he’s quite good at flying; I’ve watched him. Ducks often look so ponderous that they can’t fly, but it’s an illusion

  10. Posted October 19, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful presence at your pond, Jerry! I hope Frisky and Blockhead return next Spring. I’m sure Honey will return as long as she’s able to, as she’s got a good thing going with her very kind benefactor.

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