Honey’s still here

Despite ferocious competition from big red-eared sliders and huge goldfish for her food, my duck Honey remains at the pond. She’s fed twice daily and hangs around with me afterwards. (I have an endless ability to sit next to a floating duck.)

Here she is, and you can see that her flight feathers (primaries) are getting bigger, meaning that she can either fly now or soon will. I know what that means:

Nomming mealworms:

Selfie with my girl:


  1. Michael Scullin
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    First photo really nice (impressionism). Last was surrealistic – reminded me of an old Dali film I saw many years ago.

    • pck
      Posted August 12, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      I was going to comment on the impressionism too. Seeing some duck pictures is a nice change from the other crap that is happening right now.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I hope you are not taking clippers with you.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Seems an apt occasion for Mr. & Mrs. Bono’s “Baby, Don’t Go.”

  4. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Do you know or have an idea of where Honey will go when she leaves for the winter?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 4:38 am | Permalink

      There are options for banding or marking birds in a way that can be “read” from a distance, increasing the chance of a “recapture” (in the sense of “capture-recapture” methods of population estimation). But they’ll require someone with the appropriate tools and manual skills to capture the target animal, which is a stressful even for everyone concerned.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

      Looking around the ‘net – there hasn’t been solid research on individual Mallard migration until very recently.

      The research on mallard POPULATION DISTRIBUTION throughout the North American year is shown in a GIF map, in the link below this paragraph, but individual duck migration is extremely variable. Some ducks have been tracked flying North when the population is known to be heading South!
      The population: http://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Migratory-Birds/Waterfowl-Reports/Mallard-Migration-Model

      I found the below on animals.mum.me of all sites, but it’s more informative than the duck expert sites, so I’ll present it without shame [Notice please how North American websites assume the world of Mallard Duck is purely on their continent, this is true for every subject under the sun]:

      Mallard Migration Routes

      Mallards can migrate along a variety of different routes, but the majority of these ducks travel from the Canadian prairie provinces — think Manitoba and Saskatchewan — down into the United States’ Midwestern region all the way to Mississippi, specifically the Alluvial Valley. The Alluvial Valley refers to the lowlands that surround the Lower Mississippi River. Although this region is the most typical destination of mallard migration routes, these ducks are occasionally spotted spending their winters elsewhere, sometimes as far south as the northern portion of Mexico. Some even prefer to winter in more northern spots, including the southern region of British Columbia.

      Not all mallards actually migrate, either, particularly if humans in a certain geographic location provide them with regular sustenance.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        “…North American websites assume the world … is purely on their continent”

        Having been born outside the US,( Ooooh Canadaaa!) I’ve been acutely aware of the nearsightedness of USians. They even call themselves Americans, as if America ended at the US and Canadian borders. When googling, if you don’t specify “world”, you get US data. The GIF you link to at least shows ducks in Canada(whose going to let them back in?). It’s good they don’t show the ducks move into a black hole at the border. That’s actually pretty good, but I doubt there are many here who could name a Canadian province.

        • Diane G.
          Posted August 14, 2017 at 3:26 am | Permalink

          I bet you’d be wrong. I can even name one more that Justin Trudeau can.

          • rickflick
            Posted August 14, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            No way! Way?

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted August 14, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

              Diane is exceptional in many ways!

              Alberta – I can name all the provinces/states with no trouble, but then it is part of my Commonwealth. I hope Queen Liz got an underling to ‘phone him & administer a stern tongue lashing “no Garden Party invites me lad!” 🙂

              • rickflick
                Posted August 14, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

                Let’s see:
                Nova Scotia,
                NW Territory,
                ah…er…I should know more…damn!
                Oh, Manitoba. There’s got to be more…,
                Yukon, any more?
                Well, these are from my childhood memory so I probably missed some history over the past 50 years.

              • Diane G.
                Posted August 15, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

                BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland & Labrador.

                I’ve been to all but Manitoba, Ontario (ironic since I’ve lived in MI for 3 decades now), & N-&-L. Oh, wait, never made it to PEI, either.

                Yeah, they’ve messed with the territories since I learned those names in grade school…Googles–oh, right, they divided Nunavut out of the NW Terr. I learned just the Yukon & the NW. (Haven’t been to the territories either, darn it.)

                I love Canada. 🙂

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Does Honey recognise you over other human visitors to the pond?

    • Posted August 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Yes, of course. She shies away from people but comes swimming fast to me. She clearly knows both my whistle and my appearance.

    • Liz
      Posted August 12, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Same question. I wonder why that is.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 4:34 am | Permalink

        Cupboard love.

        • Liz
          Posted August 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          I’ve never heard of cupboard love. I think and read about what love is all of the time for my own reasons. I think physics might be able to explain it. Cupboard love is not very well defined in part because love is not well defined. Either way, I think it might be more that some people are able to let animals get close to them and others are not. I am usually caught off guard and very relaxed (already) if an animal, like a rabbit, deer, or squirrel, is suddenly within reach next to me. I am usually so taken in awe that I just breathe and observe with an usual calm in my heart. I wouldn’t call that cupboard love necessarily. If one is specifically feeding the animals, maybe. Those animals can survive on their own. They don’t need to “give” cupboard love for any reason. That’s why I wonder why.

  6. rickflick
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Nice shots. Nice to know that you two remain together…at least for now. Try feeding her a live earthworm. I bet live worms are like ice cream to ducks. 😎

  7. allison
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever petted her? Can one pet ducks? 😃

  8. polly3yr
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    She’s quite the charmer, isn’t she? I suspect a keen intellect and a little, duck-sized heart of gold. She clearly loves her Nom Daddy, so I wonder if there’s a possibility that she might winter over on site, or is it just too cold? We have small flocks of hand-fed mallards that shelter somehow underneath the banks of Lake Champlain near Plattsburgh Marina throughout the winter, no matter that it reaches thirty below zero a few times.

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