Jerry has two duckies

(You should recognize the allusion in the title.) When I went down to feed Honey this morning, I thought I was seeing double: there were two hen mallards in the pond, swimming side by side. One was Honey, as I recognize her by her greener head, bill stippling, and her immediate reaction to my whistle, but the other was a larger hen mallard. They seemed to be friendly.

Here they are—Honey’s the smaller one on the lower right:

This, of course, produced a dilemma: I had food for one duck; should I feed them both? But that problem resolved itself. When I tried to give food to the other hen, Honey chased her away immediately. I was able to toss the interloper a few pieces of corn, but since she obviously flew in from last night (oy! were her wings tired!), she was in good shape. She also didn’t like mealworms.

Here are the beak markings I use to recognize my girl:


After the feeding, the two ducks joined up again and began feeding from the pond surface together. While Honey is clearly the dominant duck, though she’s the smaller one, they seem friendly enough when they’re not being fed. The dominance behavior is, of course, evinced most strongly when there’s something to defend—like hand-fed corn and mealworms.

I’m happy that Honey seems to have a friend, and maybe they’ll even migrate away together—but I’m worried about having to deal with two ducks and antagonistic behavior during feeding time.

So it goes.

If the new one hangs around, what should I name her? Suggestions appreciated.

 

21 Comments

  1. Liz
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    This is so neat. Possible names for the new duck: Lemon, Julie, Flighty. I don’t know.

    • davidintoronto
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      I was going to suggest lemon as well! – especially if she continues to be a “sour puss.” Also: milk, cinnamon, etc.

    • Liz
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Or Honey B. For simple classification purposes but with the dictated implications of a honeybee.

  2. rickflick
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Vinaigrette.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I would go with Dew. You know, honey and dew.

  4. Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Well, isn’t that just ducky?

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      I was going to suggest “[Duck-x and] Duck-y.”

  5. Bill Morrison
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    The watery background in your pictures is artful! I was thinking that you might wait a month or so before sexing these birds. Didn’t you say that Honey is a juvenile? The Sibley Guide to Birds shows the juvenile mallard’s plumage(Jul-Sep)as rather like that of an adult female. The “greener head” that you mention might indicate a change to the plumage of a drake as it matures.

    • Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      No, I think she’s an adult: the mother of the four ducklings. At one time I thought she was the female offspring, but she’s molting, and only adults molt at this time of year.

      Her flight feathers, as I’ve said, have almost grown in, and I suspect that she can already fly.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    “Jerry has two duckies” — the religious right warned us this kinda thing would happen if the household head didn’t enforce traditional family values. 🙂

  7. Taskin
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Daisy is my suggestion. I was saving it for a future kitten, but I can share. 🙂

  8. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get the allusion

    Honey & Manna [The latter apprently associated with honeydew from Exodus 16:31]

    Honey & Fudge

    Honey & Angelica

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Or Milk and Honey.

      • Kiwi Dave
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Oops. Davidintoronto has already suggested that.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      The allusion is to Heather Has Two Mommies, is my supposition anyway.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        @Ken I like your answer even if it turns out to be wrong.

  9. Posted August 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Should I be so lucky to be you
    Whose life is tranquil,
    Whose worries are few.
    You had but one duck to worry about,
    Meh, now you have two.
    😛

    (PS… name the other ‘Manuka’.)

  10. allison
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Ducky McDuckface, of course

  11. chrism
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Ducks are sociable creatures, and the downside of any competition for food ought to be more than compensated by the fact they each have company now. My family kept mallards in the back garden when I was a kid, and it is easy to tell them apart by facial features – they don’t all look the same and it’s just a matter of familiarising yourself with them. I bet I could tell them apart today, were I transported across the decades and an ocean. Dicky, Mammy, Silent and Daisy. The DPS (Duck Protective Services) would have been very interested in what Dicky used to get up to with his daughters, Silent (perhaps that explains her name!) and Daisy. I remember being taken to pick up the original pair when they arrived in a crate via a large steam locomotive at Swindon station. Less happy memories involved cleaning out the duck pond every month, which was a filthy job involving buckets and large quantities of duck sh*t. No doubt doubt it was good for my immune system.

  12. bobkillian
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Honey and “The Rock”

  13. eric
    Posted August 14, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    What, no comment on the allusion?

    Jerry has two duckies

    Quack quack quack quack!
    Two birds of a feather…

    Sigh. I spend too much time with kids…


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