Still more duck photos

Once again, here are Trixie and Norton from yesterday’s afternoon feeding. Yes, I’m afraid I’m going to post many photos of my ducks, but remember that I have no children except for these surrogates!

They are both eating well, and Norton remains a gentleman, allowing Trixie to eat first and never pecking her or stealing her food. They remain a bit more skittish than before, swimming off in response to cues I can’t discern. I hope there are ducklings, but I’ll be traveling for two weeks in about two weeks, so I’m worried I’ll miss the appearance of offspring. If any student is reading this, I’m looking for volunteers to care for ducks, both adults and possible ducklings, when I’m gone (remuneration offered):

Trixie in a formal pose, showing her prominent blue speculum:

Trixie can’t walk quite as well as a normal female since she’s missing a toe, but she does okay. Here she is recumbent on the grass. I like to think that she’s cooking up some eggs, as she seems a bit plumper, but it could be the food I’m giving them:

Norton in a formal pose, also showing off his speculum, which is colored more deeply than Trixie’s:

Norton doesn’t quack, but makes quiet little ducky sounds. I like to photograph them with their bills open. You can see the serrated edges of the bill, which they use, like baleen whales, to expel water while keeping in the food:

Besides his bright orange legs, Norton has beautiful coloration on his head: a combination of iridescent green and purple hues. His yellow bill looks unreal, as if it were made of plastic:

 

10 Comments

  1. J W
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    So, I was reading this article.

    http://cityparrots.org/journal/2009/8/24/wildlife-traffickers-bleach-parrots-to-increase-value.html

    The concensus seems to be that Honey and Trixie are different ducks, but most comments supporting that they are the same duck seem to be assuming that the change in color of the beak was somehow a natural process.

    Unlike in the article, there’s no commercial value in bleaching a duck.

    But what if Honey got stuck in an oil slick somewhere?

    And was then incompetently washed with some sort of industrial solvent (by a well meaning individual who didn’t know any better)?

    Could human intervention provide a better explanation for the changes between Honey’s and Trixie’s beak and feet?

  2. Christopher
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    No apologies needed. I doubt any reader minds seeing your ducks, and I’m sure we are all awaiting the first appearance of ducklings.

    And if anyone is interested, there is a falcon cam in Kansas City (ustream.tv) the nest is somewhere on the Plaza, if anyone’s familiar with that snooty shopping district, and as of yesterday there were two eggs laid. Cheers!

  3. Laurance
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I love ducks, too, and I thoroughly enjoy reading about Norton and Trixie. I still have hope that Honey will return to you at some point.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I wonder if there is a means to install a nest box for Trixie on the site. This would increase the chances of successful rearing of ducklings. In any case it will be very exciting to for all of us to see this whole process!
    Beautiful last picture of Norton. He’s a good looking duck.

    • Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Great idea about the nesting box. My city actually installed a bunch of these down by the creek.

  5. Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    These ducks are gorgeous. Norton’s bill is more chartreuse than butter-yellow.

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I love seeing Norton and Trixie. If Trixie isn’t Honey, I think she must be her daughter. You used to make a special effort to feed her separately from her brothers so I think you would have special meaning to her and she would respond to your whistle.

  7. Richard Portman
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    The ducks are awesome! Keep the photos coming..We await further developments.

  8. Nilou Ataie
    Posted March 30, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Her speculum looks a bit drab, could she be a bit of a hybrid?

  9. Posted March 30, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Should PCC(E) adopt another pair of ducks, I hope he’ll name them Arwhen and Aracorn (after the characters in LOTR).


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