Duck retrospective: Remembering Honey and her oversized brood

May 13, 2023 • 11:45 am

Those of us (especially me) who welcomed the renovation of Botany Pond as both an improved facility but also as a break from last year’s spate of difficult duckling rescues, now find ourselves missing the mallards. Occasionally a duck or two may stop by the pond, looking quizzically at the absence of water, but otherwise there are no ducks to be seen. (Some of us get our duck fix by visiting nearby ponds.)

We also find ourself remembering the mallards of bygone years. For example, Honey was here for six straight years, but I doubt that I’ll ever seen her again. Three years ago, her brood hatched on May 1 and then another nesting hen, Dorothy, hatched her own brood on May 3.  You may remember, if you’re a regular, that Honey managed to kidnap all of Dorothy’s brood, winding up with 17 ducklings to tend. We are proud that they all lived to fledging, but Dorothy was bereft. Fortunately, she nested again and produced a second brood of seven, all of which she brought up herself.

Here’s Honey with her huge brood, calling them to leave the plaza and enter the water. It’s fun to watch them hustle to mom and leap over the metal barrier, and makes me miss the ducks even more. The video below is by Jean Greenberg. (Click to enlarge.)

Here she is with her entire brood that year, resting on the “duck ring” in the center of the pond.  I suppose that, when the pond is refilled in October, she might come by to say “hi,” but I have no guarantee that she’s alive, and she was looking a bit peaked last year, showing up only at the end of the season.

4 thoughts on “Duck retrospective: Remembering Honey and her oversized brood

    1. Thanks for the video and photo. That’s a LOT of ducklings! I do hope, against the odds, I know, that PCC(E) gets to see Honey again.

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