Meet Shirley Rose with her ten ducklings, who jumped down to the pond on June 3:
The “fam” resting in a clump on the grass. Doesn’t Shirley Rose look proud? She’s been a great mother, defending her brood against all comers and rounding up any straggler ducklings who get lost and peep piteously for mom.
Why did the duckings cross the road? Who knows? Note the duckling stopping to drink from a mud puddle.
And the gang foraging in the grass at 13 days old. Their peeping is endearing.
Misty (named after the ballerina Misty Copeland because of the hen’s graceful neck and demeanor) hung around the pond all spring, and we didn’t really want another duck breeding there, so we never fed her. Nevertheless, she persisted, eking out stray duck pellets and nesting somewhere we don’t know. She appeared at the pond with five gorgeous ducklings on May 28, two days before Shirley’s brood appeared. Fortunately, the two groups managed to keep themselves sorted out, and there was no rancor (or ducknapping) between the broods. Both Misty and Shirley Rose are terrific moms.
Meet Misty & Co.: The very first few minutes in the water after their big morning leap:
Mom anxiously overlooking her brood:
Resting under the apple tree with Mom just two days ago, when it was hot. It’s easy to miss them as they’re cryptically colored, and the yellow and brown pattern makes the ducklings look like sun-dappled forest floor:
An afternoon nap:
Misty giving her babies diving lessons on June 4, when they were just a week old:
One day later, the brood practices more dives. A big ol’ turtle nearby doesn’t care. Video by Jean Greenberg.
The two broods near each other on June 2. Misty’s are five days old, Shirley’s only three. Video by Jean Greenberg: