Duck update

July 21, 2023 • 1:15 pm

We’re still schlepping a cart of water and food to the dorm ducklings three times a week. As you can see, they’re growing rapidly, and now have most of their feathers. Some are even flapping their tiny stubs of wings.  They are using their “pools” more, but come Monday we’ll put in a larger and deeper tub of water for them.

It’s a bit sad, because although we’ve kept the family together and the ducklings are thriving, they really should be in a place where they can swim freely. They haven’t had a normal duckling life. On the other hand, they’ve been protected and cosseted by the three Team Duck members since we first saw them. They are fat, healthy, and lively.

Here are a few pictures and two movies taken today and Wednesday.

Ready to drink:

Yes, these are scruffy teenaged ducks (Wednesday). Note the mixture of down and feathers.

Their nap after feeding (the first order of business) and after their swim:

Here’s a lone duckling enjoying a swim and then quickly leaving the tub for some lunch:

It took a few days for them to get brave enough to go in the tub, but now they can fit in there, but only eight at a time. The others wait their turn:

A closeup of the pile o’ ducks:

Lunch! Duckling starter chow and mealworms, which they love:

More napping:

A video of naptime. They preen, peep, and open and close their eyes. Not being dumb, they always find a convenient patch of shade:

The watchful Maria. She was there Wednesday, but today had flown off to have a proper bath and a swim. She’ll be back! She’s sleepy in this pic from Wednesday

And more pictures of the duckling pile:

Note the closed nictitating membrane on the duckling at left:

Yep, they’re in their awkward and unsightly teenage stage. The ducklings with orange beaks are probably females, with drakes having green beaks:

A drake to be!

Excuse me, but NO COMMENTS? If someone doesn’t comment, I’ll shoot these ducklings.

13 thoughts on “Duck update

  1. Do you really have a weapon suitable for the mass annihilation of ducklings? That would be a side of you I would not have expected. Beautiful ducklings and thanks for keeping them alive.

  2. “If someone doesn’t comment, I’ll shoot these ducklings.”

    Ha! With what? A rubber band gun!?

    They are living a version of Plato’s Duck Cave: Do they have any idea what a real swim is? “What do you mean? This IS a real swim.” It would be interesting to see how they respond when they reach a body of water for the first time. In the meantime, you have done what you can.

    I sometimes cherish the old stories and myths, and I wish that one day–many, many years from now–some duck could approach Jerry in the afterlife and say: That was me. Thank you.

  3. I may never have mentioned but it may interest you to know that off-campus, Jess Jackson, the grand old man of the English Dept @ W&M (d1957) was a gentleman farmer on a lovely 4acre plot off Jamestown Road that continued as such for a good half-century after his demise. Among the things he raised and that continued to be raised for at least a couple decades thereafter were mallards.

  4. What a tremendous good deed you and your team have done for these young animals in need. Isn’t that called a mitzvah? 🙂

  5. I am interested in the sexing of the ducklings by bill color.

    Where did you find that out?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *