Honey is back! (I think)

March 1, 2021 • 11:17 am

We had about 20 ducks yesterday, but only two hens and one drake this morning. When I looked at one hen, her bill pattern looked familiar, and I took a picture, which wasn’t easy in the morning light.  The right side of her bill—the only side I could photograph—looks like Honey’s. You be the judge.

Right side of Honey’s bill photographed in 2018; it’s been more or less like this every year.

Putative Honey this morning:

Right side of putative Honey’s bill this morning. Note the black patch in the corner of the upper bill, and the familiar “dog chasing motorcycle motif”. Of course the intensity and pattern changes a bit every year.

I call it a tentative match with high probability. This would be her fifth year of coming back.

Here’s a photo of Honey on the North Duck Island photographed at about noon today, with the same bill pattern.

And her and her handsome drake. I have a good video of them courting each other that I will post tomorrow.  The Dude needs a name!

Honey showed up on March 4 last year, so she’s pretty much on time.

20 thoughts on “Honey is back! (I think)

  1. Did she show any recognition of you? I think Honey and some of her offspring are getting quite habituated to you. They know you bring the chow!

  2. “dog chasing motorcycle motif””

    WOWWWWW

    I SEE IT! That’s great!

    I also see it on the new arrival!

  3. “The Dude needs a name!” – Bill Quackston? Hopefully he’ll play a leading role in “big love”… ( Apologies in advance!)

  4. That’s Honey for sure, with what I call the S-pattern of dots on the right bill. Gosh, it’s kinda early, isn’t it? She must want first dibs on the nesting ledge closer to the pond. The other hen’s bill markings make me want to think she’s one of Honey’s offspring.

    1. No, she came last year on March 4 so it’s not early; it’s just that the pond is still largely frozen over. But i’m feeding the three mallards tons of duck pellets and now mealworms, and they were happy, napping in the sun on the duck island. I expect ducklings in about two months. Remember, Honey’s fledged 30 so far.

  5. Great news…is there the triangle on the other side her beak? That’s the marking that I always remember.

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