Well, Honey didn’t lose any time after arriving at Botany Pond; she got down to business within two days. Yesterday she engaged in several courtship bouts with the unnamed drake, and below is a video of one of them. The mutual head bobbing may be a way for the mates to check out each other’s vigor, or it may simply strengthen an already-formed bond.
And there was even more salacious behavior at about 10:30 this morning, for I watched Honey and the drake mate. I was looking at the ducks through binoculars (my office window overlooks the pond) and saw some more head bobbing between the pair. All of a sudden, the drake mounted Honey from behind, forced almost all of her body underwater, and mated with her for about ten seconds.
Now I’m not sure if this resulted in insemination, for mating takes place several times between pairs of ducks, but it’s clear that Honey will soon be preggers if she’s not now.
After the mating was over, Honey flapped her wings vigorously, rising up out of the water, and then lit a cigarette (I’m only kidding about the cigarette). There’s another hen there, too, and I bet this drake will mate with both of them, since there are no other drakes around.
At any rate, if my guess is correct, Honey will start building a nest in a few weeks and we’ll have ducklings by the end of April or the beginning of May. I hope both hens don’t produce offspring at the same time, because, as we learned last year, Honey has a tendency to kidnap another hen’s brood.
And we need a name for the other hen as well as for the drake. Feel free to suggest names.
DUCKLINGS ON THE WAY!