We have ducklings: an even dozen!

May 25, 2022 • 12:32 pm

Life is full of surprises—and changes. After feeling glum all morning while writing about the loss of life in Texas, I suddenly saw new life (of the mallard variety) in Botany Pond. A member of Team Duck called me from the pond this morning with those glorious words, “We have ducklings!”

And so we did: a dozen little peepers, all in good shape. The best news is that Mom is taking good care of them and the other drakes and hen seem to be leaving them alone. Twelve! Well, we have another six weeks until fledging.

An undergrad named Sean managed to take a video of Mom and her brood, which apparently hatched in the quad south of Botany Pond—marching across the lawn, through the south fence, and into the pond itself. A rare video indeed! It’s short, but here it is (note that they haven’t yet encountered water!):

And here are two not-so-great iPhone photos of the brood. When it gets sunny in the next few days I’ll take better pictures.

Wish us luck, and especially wish Mom luck. (She hasn’t got a name yet; feel free to suggest one.) She’s got a big job on her hands!

Mom managed to find a fairly flat spot on the bank and sat on all her babies. One of them, however, briefly sat atop her!

A turtle showed up to share in the fun:

Facilities is working with us to make a better egress from the pond and refurbish one duckling ramp; many thanks to them for their help.

15 thoughts on “We have ducklings: an even dozen!

  1. Beautiful family!! She looks so serene with her babies safely gathered around her.

    I don’t know what names you have used in the past, but I like the name Winnie for this lovely lady duck. Hopefully, the meaning “Gentle Friend or Friend of Peace” will be auspicious of a gentle and peaceful ducklinghood for her young.

    Hope your rash is better!!

  2. I don’t know how Facilities feels about these sorts of requests, but I like the fact that they work with you.

  3. Allow me to direct any new WEIT readers to the Botany Pond webcam, where you can check up on the ducklings any time. There you can also review the last 12 hours of video, and even occasionally catch a glimpse of PCC[e] engaged in his duck-tending duties.

  4. Felicitations! How about: Gale/Gail/Gayle, Abigale. Since the pattern seems to be somewhat quaint names, and Wizard of Oz’ Dorothy’s surname is Gale.

  5. She hasn’t got a name yet; feel free to suggest one.

    Call her Baker! Then her offspring are the Baker’s dozen. 🙂

    I would alternately suggest Dirty, making them the dirty dozen, but that seems less nice.

    1. Jerry could call her “Major Reisman,” Lee Marvin’s character who played mother hen to The Dirty Dozen and led them into battle.

  6. I was unaware, until reading a recent WEIT post, how many injuries our host has sustained in his
    sterling history of advocacy and defense of ducks. Permit me to suggest that PCC(e) should long ago have been named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur des Canards. Ducks aside, other American members of la Légion d’Honneur have included Bob Dylan, Quincy Jones, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Jerry Lewis, not to mention Chester Nimitz and Chuck Yeager.

  7. You have such a fine Senator from your state.

    I’m still hoping that you will name a hen after her – Tammy Duckworth.


  8. I wonder if Mama is one of the many ducklings who grew up on this pond, with fond memories of visits from the Duck Food Man.

  9. I was going to suggest “Nova” as the name, since she is new to Botany Pond, but I must admit I like Tammy Duckworth.

  10. Any duck worth its salt is a T. D. fan! She was an answer on Jeopardy today. One bad ass, that’s undeniable, a great tribute.

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