There will be a brief interruption. . . .

June 8, 2022 • 9:35 am

Unfortunately, the mother who left the pond with her six babies returned this morning, and the usual fracas of pecking and fighting ensued.

This time I was determined to save the babies, as they had no chance given the assault they were under from both Audrey and her babies.  And, of the six that were there, I managed to catch five, which are going in today for rehab. They are all dried off and resting, and in an hour they’ll go to the rehabber.

And I had to jump back in the pond to get them all (I got two that way), so I’m in for another bout of swimmer’s itch. It’s worth it, though, for this:

The sixth one, tragically, was pecked to death by Audrey and her brood on the duck plaza.  All told, we rescued six of the original eight, which isn’t bad. But it’s so sad to deprive a mother of her babies this way, and vice versa. And the fighting and killing is more than we can bear.

Audrey and her twelve, of course, are doing splendidly.

Posting may be light for the rest of the day.

17 thoughts on “There will be a brief interruption. . . .

  1. This episode has got me wondering about something. The duck “brutality”, for want of another term among mallards is comprehensible is wild birds from an evolutionary point of view. My question is this… is this kind of behavior also found in domestic ducks? I’m guessing that it is not found and has been been selected out over the years so that duck farms can maintain larger numbers of birds in confined conditions.

    Does anyone here have insight about this?

  2. You’re a veritable force of Nature, Jerry! I hope you can get some medicine as a prophylactic to that nasty parasite!

    Would it make sense, in future, to partition the pond (at the bridge), so perhaps a second brood could occupy the channel until the duckling get larger? Or is the channel too small and narrow? Dorothy and Pushkin are so aggressive that they would likely just waddle/fly over there and attack the second brood. Birds of a feather do flock together! No wonder Honey ceded the pond.

    1. No, because you can’t guarantee where the brood will go; we have a duck ramp in the channel which is necessary for the babies to get out, and they can easily get between the channel and pond either way. I don’t know why Honey ceded the pond, she wasn’t being attacked or anything. .

  3. We have terrible swimmers itch at the family cottage when it is warm and the wind is onshore (the snails shed more and the waves concentrate the larvae). The trick is reducing the itch is to towel off right away, before the larvae can burrow in. Good luck with the ducks!

  4. Whew! That is good for the morale, for sure!

    Maybe that “hand sanitizer” will help kick out the … is it schistosome larvae?

    Another thought – I wonder if immunity to those worm larvae (schistosomes?) will increase every exposure – I recall the herpetologist who was partially immune to snake venoms who lived to be 100 – Bill … Bill Haast.

    That would be good.

  5. So sad that this year’s duckling season is proving so troublesome. But you do your very best and, although understandably not right now, this knowledge will hopefully give you some small comfort when the immediate feelings you are experiencing have faded.

  6. Hang in there, Jerry. You are doing an outstanding job of taking care of the ducks, and they must have a much higher survival rate than those left to fend for themselves. You’ve made the pond an attraction for both people and ducks, and both species appreciate your efforts. I hope you get a break today!

  7. I wonder how many of these new problem ducks were actually born in Botany Pond and know how great the perks are there?

  8. I am so happy to see these little ducks saved!
    They are priceless with those tiny beaks and fluffy balled bodies.
    Thank you for saving them.

  9. Jerry, It might be worth it to avoid swimmers itch to buy some fishing waders. This situation is bound to arise again.

    1. This comment has come up before, and Jerry has said he doesn’t have time for fishing waders as these emergencies pop-up suddenly and need to be taken care of immediately and every second counts.

        1. Have you considered adding waterproof sunscreen or petroleum jelly to your carry kit? Ten seconds to slather some on before stepping in, when you can, could greatly reduce the risk.

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