More on Botany Pond

May 8, 2021 • 2:00 pm

Things seem to have improved since the tragedy yesterday on Botany Pond. Honey has gotten a lot more aggressive, and will chase Dorothy and her babies away. The babies seem to be staying closes to the appropriate mothers, and everybody is eating well. I am more determined than ever to save the remaining babies, though I will be mourning the dead one for some time to come. And I’ve recovered a little bit of hope.

Here’s the duckling who, attacked by Dorothy, swam underwater a long distance and I found her surfaced, sodden, and still being pecked. I jumped in the pont, rescued her (I don’t know the sex of this duckling), dried her, warmed her, fed her, and took her home to sleep with me. Here she is the morning I took her to the rehabber. She was much improved.

Although I didn’t get any sleep when she shared my bed (she slept in my armpit), I really do miss her. There’s something about sleeping with a newborn duckling that’s incomparably sweet. I don’t think one can ever forget it.

On my way to rehab!

Honey, alert and aggressive, standing guard over her six remaining offspring.

Dorothy with her babies (she still has ten):

A lovely little girl was engrossed in drawing the pond and the ducks. I asked her if I could photograph her drawing, and she said “yes.” Here it is with Dorothy (left), Honey and her ducklings (right), and one of the Duck Islands with the tree on it:

A bird at the pond. I’m absolutely sure many readers will know what it is, but I don’t.  Let us know!

The same bird. I love its yellow breast and yellow pate.


21 thoughts on “More on Botany Pond

    1. For those who are interested in possible reasons why Greg identified this as a Myrtle Warbler and Christopher identified it as a Yellow-rumped Warbler, this bird used to be called Myrtle Warbler, then a few decades ago it was lumped with the western Audubon’s Warbler because of a narrow hybrid zone, and in 2016 better DNA analyses showed that they should be split again (and Goldman’s Warbler in Guatemala should also be split from Audubon’s Warbler). This is a tough decision, subject to the ever-changing whims of taxonomic fashion.

  1. So sorry to hear about the horrific incident! The duckling was so lucky that Uncle Jerry was right there. I hope there’s a chance to reunite the duckling with Honey.

  2. I love the drawing. The water ripples seem so calm but the ducks look like drama is going on. From the drawing, it looks like Honey is chasing Dorothy.
    I like the heads leaning forward, which looks like movement at a clip.
    Beautiful rendition of action!

  3. Very lovely photos and drawing! It’s good to hear that things have calmed down a little.

  4. I am glad the drama has diminished on Botany pond. I had a most irrational response to yesterday’s events—I was angry at Dorothy. I would not make a good naturalist. Intellectually, I realize she is a mother duck doing what mother ducks do, but yesterday I hated her.

    1. I know what you mean. I was wishing Dorothy would be less dotty and be more accepting of Honey’s babies. 🙁

      Today I saw a woman and kids in a van watching over a pair of Canada geese that had a nest and hatchlings on an island in the parking lot of a shopping plaza. What a place to make a nest! One baby fell off the island and was trying to leap the curb to get back on the island. Thankfully it made it. Of course the people had to stay clear as the parents were being very protective. I had to be on my way and later I saw a fire truck near the island and the brood was gone. I think they were being relocated.

  5. Always nice to see the softer side of our host. I’m so glad you were able to save this little guy!

    I remember when I saved a nest of baby birds in my teenage years. They were from a friend’s house, where the mother had made her nest in a hanging plant. Unfortunately, the mother flew into the glass door of my friend’s deck and died. The babies were less than a week old at that point, so I had to keep them in a shoe box and feed them by hand for several weeks, and then take them to a person two hours away who rehabilitated all sorts of animals. I never saw them again after that, but I will certainly never forget them. Of course, they weren’t nearly as cute as these ducklings.

    I hope Honey has learned her lesson and continues to stand up to Dorothy. Team Honey for life!

  6. I certainly hope there are no more disasters for you. I am sure this is a terribly stressful time, and I am confident you are in all of our thoughts.

  7. What a wonderful foster parent you have been to the duckling. She looks beautiful in the photos: fluffed up, healthy, and content. It’s nice to see her in good shape despite the attack and despite being away from her mother. It must feel good to have saved her. I really hope we will get to hear about her from time to time. Did the people there say they’d keep you posted on her progress?

  8. Didn’t Dorothy just steal the ducklings last year?

    I think that bird is Observant and that’s a kippah. This should be reflected in the Latin binomial or make it a trinomial.

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