Ducks upon ducks

June 23, 2023 • 1:20 pm

This morning two members of Team Duck went to look at the report of ten young ducklings on a dorm roof (actually, a big landscaped yard) where they can’t get out. We took a look, gave them tons of food and water, and decided to keep the babies with mom until they can fly. This, of course, involves a nearly daily schlep across campus and a labyrinthine trek through dorm basements to get to the garden. But I’ve just ordered another 25 pounds of baby duck food, and I have a big supply already on hand.

We couldn’t find any ducklings when we first walked onto the roof garden, but Marie heard peeping and there they were: ten adorable babies, probably 4-5 days old, all huddled together. Where was Mom? We were worried, but in a minute or so Mom appeared with loud quacking. She called to her babies, who ran to her.

By that time we’d placed bowls of duckling food and pans of water around the plaza, but they didn’t know what they were. So I tossed a handful of the small pellets to Mom, and it wasn’t long before she realized they were food, and began gobbling them up. The babies followed suit.

Mom discovers that what I was tossing her was good to eat!

And the babies tucked in, too:

We had a couple of little swimming pool pans, and when the ducklings saw them, and one jumped in, they all followed–all ten. I believe this is the first time they ever were immersed in water, and they were splashing with joy and drinking. (We’ll give them more pools by Monday.  I don’t even think they saw water until yesterday, when the boss at Facilities left out a bowl.

Now we’ll look after them until they’re ready to fly: in about 5-6 weeks. I didn’t expect to be doing such things this summer, but somebody has to. And it’s good to see ducklings again.


18 thoughts on “Ducks upon ducks

  1. Good that they are safe. They are quite a lovely family. Are the pans sufficient? or would something like a kids wading pool be better as there would be more space to swim?

    1. Those wading pools are relatively inexpensive and would be perfect. I think they can easily be found at places like Walmart.

  2. Love. love. love. In this mad world, where “everything” seems to be going to hell, it’s so wonderful to know that life finds a way, and, that there are good people who care.

  3. Well, it’s a bit of a pond downgrade, but I doubt they care! Very good news that the hen and her brood will be taken care of by you and other friendly anasaphiles. Now she needs a name. How about “Lucky”. 😉

  4. So nice to make a mini-water park for the babies! Staying at your 5 Star Bed&Breakfast will give them an advantage few ducks have. These have no idea how fortunate to be under the protection of TeamDuck.

  5. Urban ducks in the concrete jungle? Nature must feel the urban foxes don’t get enough to eat. Yes, I know that’s not how it works.

    And talking of matters avian, we have started keeping quail, and currently have 2 roosters and 8 hens. We get 6-7 eggs a day, each about one quarter the volume of a chicken’s egg. Fiddly to peel once boiled. They don’t make the happy noises of hens, (which I find awfully soothing), but the roosters do make a little trumpet now and then. They are dreadfully randy too.

  6. I hope that the pond is back next year so the poor ducks aren’t stuck in the concrete jungle. It’s good that people on campus are on the alert and contact you so that you can come and save the day!

  7. This, of course, involves a nearly daily schlep across campus and a labyrinthine trek through dorm basements to get to the garden.

    Any students still resident in that block, who can be commandeered, at least for the routine duck-maintenance.
    Ditto security / janitorial staff?

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