In which I feed my ducks along with local kids

I feed my ducks two or three times a day, and have started them on defrosted frozen peas, which are supposed to be good for them. They love them, but the peas sink in the water and to get them the ducks have to “dabble” (turn upside down and catch the peas as they sink). Curiously, the four “ducklings” (teenagers, really) don’t like the defrosted corn I’ve tried, but Mother Duck loves it. Who knows why?

Today at my lunchtime feeding, a group of kids came by from the Lab School (a primary through high school run by the University). The group was on a nature walk, molding leaves and other natural objects into clay to make pottery. (I think it’s the “Clay Creations” program for first and second graders.) When they saw me feeding the ducks, they got all excited and sat down with me. It wasn’t long until they asked to join in, and my supply of peas, oatmeal, mealworms, and Cheerios was soon exhausted after being dispensed into tiny palms. Some of the kids even let the ducks (who are now brazen) take food from their fingers (they don’t hurt with those bills).

The kids had a gazillion questions about the ducks (“can they see color?” what are those blue feathers for?”), and I did my best to answer. It was nice to teach a bit again, and it was huge fun for all.

Here are two photos taken by their teacher (at my request):

A half dozen little arms (and one big hairy one) extend treats.

“Please, sir, can I have some more?”





  1. Teresa Carson
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    How nice that you had some help today!

  2. dabertini
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Too cute🤗

  3. Christianjb
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Try oats. Apparently suitable foodstuff and the aquatic birds seem to love it. I feed it to the cygnets at my university and they can’t get enough of it.

  4. darrelle
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful interlude.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Great to see you in your element professor (e).

  6. Monika
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful moment! You made their day, I’m sure.

    And it’s always fun to feed ducks with noms and young minds with facts.

  7. Dave137
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I wish people would stop feeding them bread. It’s really unhealthy.

  8. BobTerrace
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink


  9. Posted July 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Primates and dinosaurs all have a fun time with that great leveller….. food, is not eating the other. 😊

  10. Debbie Coplan
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    This is a delightful post! The spontaneity of such a fun event is heart warming to see. Everyone looks so happy. Ducks included.

  11. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    What lovely pics! I bet you made their day. (The ducks and the kids. 🙂 )

  12. Posted July 6, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Awwww beautiful story

  13. mordacious1
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Jerry: This food is expensive.

    Duck: Put it on my bill.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Jerry: That is a fowl joke.

      Duck: Then do not grouse.

    • Posted July 6, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      LOL. There’s a simiar joke about a duck buying Chapstick, and the druggist asks him, “Will that be cash or charge?”

  14. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Kids are great. All are naturally born scientists, unafraid to ask questions. A few never ‘grow up’ in that sense.

  15. Posted July 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I love seeing the world through the eyes of a child. I need to do more of it.


  16. Posted July 6, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    This just makes me smile… Really.

  17. Kevin
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    ‘Please sir. Can I have some more?’

    Fascinating how a little politeness is a good predictor of well-functioning future members of society.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      @Kevin I think it’s a quote from Oliver! [1968]

      • Dawn Oz
        Posted July 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Yes, ’tis a quote – well used.

  18. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Corn is terrible. I agree with the young ducks!

  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Gonna be a while before you order duck l’orange flambéed at table side again, boss?

  20. rickflick
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Nice way to pass the day. Who’s not happy here?

  21. Posted July 6, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    So happy to see this! Teaching young kids about something they’re really interested in is one of the greatest joys of the world. Who is most enjoying himself/herself in these photos: the ducks, the kids or PCC(E)?!!

  22. W.Benson
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I get the impression that feeding the ducks will no longer be a solitary activity.

  23. koseighty
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Strict dress code for kids in your neighborhood. 😉

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Easier to keep them off the lawns that way.

      I used to get British weekly kids magazines sent to me. It was a common feature of the stories that the kids were caught or had to take measures to avoid it because of their distinctive school uniforms.

  24. Les Faby
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I love these pictures.

  25. Posted July 7, 2017 at 12:15 am | Permalink


  26. biblia
    Posted July 7, 2017 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    How impossibly lovely.

  27. Andrea Kenner
    Posted July 7, 2017 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Love this! ❤

  28. Posted July 7, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    What good fun! Young kids are a blast. So curious about the world, most of them.

  29. Gabriel
    Posted July 7, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Love it. Life is good sometimes.

  30. claudia baker
    Posted July 7, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Just simply adorable.

  31. RPGNo1
    Posted July 7, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I think, you would have been a great elementary school teacher, Jerry. 😄

  32. Posted July 7, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    A very Deweyite education!

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