Monday ducks: nesting about to start

March 22, 2021 • 11:30 am

The ducks are behaving oddly, with Dorothy and Honey quacking at each other from a distance, or both ducks quacking at Shmuley when he’s not around (they demand his presence), and there’s a general refusal to eat at times.  I think what’s going on is that the hens are preparing to nest, and somehow (I can’t enter a duck’s brain), this has got them riled up.

The other day we saw Dorothy “window shopping”, sitting on the third-floor ledges of Erman Hall, sometimes in the very same window where she nested (twice) last year. So far she hasn’t built anything. Here she is in the window next to where she nested last year.

Sometimes, however, she sits on the roof of Erman and quacks loudly.

Spot the hen!

Look closer. . . . .

There she is—on the roof! (I hope she doesn’t nest in a gutter!)

Dorothy quacking from her rooftop perch. She does this even when there are no ducks around. Go figure. . .

First Dorothy quacked when she was the only duck around, but then Honey came to the pond, sat on the bank, jumped in to the water, and then both hens quacked at each other for a long time. Go figure. . .

Here’s a video of Honey on the bank quacking at Dorothy on the roof, whom you can hear quacking back. Then Honey jumps in the water and joins Shmuley. Dorothy came down and joined them both a few minutes later, and they finally got a meal.

Here’s Honey quacking in the pond.

Honey has also been “window shopping,” which is the name we give to “looking for a nest site”. So far she’s been seen on the first-floor windows—too close to the ground for my taste:

The lovely long-necked hen Misty is still around, but we are not feeding her in the hope that she leaves. It’s sad to not feed such a graceful mallard, but this is tough love. We want at most two broods in the pond this year. Here’s Misty quacking:


6 thoughts on “Monday ducks: nesting about to start

  1. Great photos. I am guessing that much of the quacking has to do with claiming nesting territory by the now pregnant or soon to be pregnant ducks. But what do I know?

  2. “Too close to the ground for my taste” – just (perhaps stupidly) wondering why that is. At least no trampolines are necessary?

    1. I was wondering that too. I assume no one can reach them there, and it would be easier when they come down?

      1. I think climbing the ivy that short distance would be pretty easy, quick work for a raccoon who wants duck eggs or ducklings.

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