Category Archives: ducks

Proprietors’ wildlife photos and videos: Tuesday duck report

UPDATE: Feeding everyone at the pond this morning, we could count only six ducklings with Dorothy. We found no stragglers, heard no peeping of lost babies, and could find no bodies. It’s pretty clear that one has vanished, and I suspect predation (perhaps raccoons or Cooper’s hawks). I am heartbroken. ___________________________ It’s been a while […]

Sunday Duck o’ the Week

Once again evolutionary biologist John Avise is instructing us on the various species of ducks in North America. Your job is to look at the photos below and guess the species. If you can’t guess it, learn its appearance and then go below the fold for the ID, John’s duck notes, and a range map. […]

Dorothy breeds again!: duck-related matters leading to reduced posting

Well, Dorothy, who clearly wanted to have her own family after her entire brood was purloined by Honey, produced seven ducklings yesterday. This second batch leaped down from the third-floor window in Erman hall next to the pond, coming down while I was feeding Honey’s brood across the pond. The time was about 8:45 a.m. […]

The story of Honey and the Botany Pond ducks: a school project by Meghan Hammond

Meghan Hammond is a rising senior at The Laboratory School, part of the University of Chicago that gives secondary-school education in a high-class way.  During the virtual-learning part of the semester, her English class, called “Tell Me a Story”, assigned as a final project the production of an audio “story” by the students. They could […]

Sunday Duck O’ the Week

Evolutionary geneticist John Avise is continuing his series of the ducks of North America. The goal is to educate readers about all the species in this group during lockdown, so that at the ends you will graduate with either an M. A. (master of Anas) or a Ph.D. (Duck of Philosophy). Your goal is to […]

The pond had a visitor

The visitor is not one that I welcome in terms of potential carnage to my beloved ducks, but I do love to see it because the visitor is stately, splendid, and gorgeous. It is, of course, a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), and we haven’t seen one at the pond for several weeks.  When I […]

The runaway duckling

Here’s a lovely video starring a brood of ducklings mothered by a gray cat named Prince Michael, and featuring an Ostracized Duckling, one Gabriel Aaron Duckworth. Watch Gabe’s travails as, unable to take the jeers of his four siblings, he runs away from home. Gabe has many adventures as the distraught Prince Michael searches for […]

Sunday Duck O’ The Week

John Avise, an evolutionary biologist at UC Irvine, has offered to help us pass the pandemic by getting educated about the ducks of North America. Thus every Sunday (and this has gone on for a while, and will continue), John will put up some photos of a “local” duck, and your job is to guess […]

Proprietor’s wildlife: Thursday ducks

It’s time for a report on how Honey and her brood are getting along. The answer is, to Coyne a phrase, “swimmingly.” All 17 are healthy and growing, with some nearly the size of their mother. (There’s still no sign of any brood from Dorothy, and I hope she’s not cooking up another one.) Here […]

Two ducks for Tuesday

We still have all 17 babies, but they’re hardly babies any more. They’re at the end of their scruffy teenager stage, with just a bit of down on their butts, and their adult feathers coming in. This is the stage when I think they look most like dinosaurs. Look at those oversized reptilian feet! And […]