Duckling report

I’m pleased to report that all nine of Honey’s ducklings survived the night, though it’s still big tsouris to feed the males and Honey and her brood, as, on land, Frank and his pal tend to drive Honey away from the corn. On the water it’s easy to give Honey and her brood good proteinaceous mealworms, as the male ducks spurn them. So everyone got breakfast.

It’s raining this morning, but I’m hoping Landscaping will still show up to do the Pond Improvements they promised yesterday.

Below: Frank drives Honey away from the corn (she got plenty, though, as well as mealworms). You can see part of the brood; repeated counting shows all nine are still there.

Anna had the bright idea of crushing some of the mealworms so the ducklings could handle them. That seems to work, and the family got a good breakfast on the pond (I’ve ordered three more bags ).You can see the rain splashing in the pond.

20 Comments

  1. Posted May 21, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I love the Honey and her ducklings updates!

    • Rita
      Posted May 21, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      +1

  2. Taskin
    Posted May 21, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The fluff balls are growing already! 🙂

  3. Bill Bass
    Posted May 21, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    You’re a good duck daddy Jerry.I’m sure they appreciate your attention.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 21, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    A ministering angel shall our PCC(e) be.

  5. barn owl
    Posted May 21, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    What a sweet family! Glad Honey and the ducklings enjoyed their mealworms.

  6. Posted May 21, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Can anyone provide a biological explanation as to why the drake hangs around post partum. Frank doesn’t seem to be doing any good and gobbles up food that should be nourishing his off-spring.

    • mikeyc
      Posted May 21, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      He’s getting fed?

      • Posted May 21, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Yeah, I meant if he weren’t getting fed would he split, or do drakes hang around and help mom like the males of some other birds do? If it is the latter, Frank doesn’t seem to be doing his share.

    • barn owl
      Posted May 21, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Well, according to Robert McCloskey’s illustrated monograph on duck reproductive behavior, Make Way for Ducklings, the father duck might disappear for awhile after the ducklings hatch. However, he will soon return and help the mother raise the family on a safe island, where they’ll all share peanuts and other treats.

      • barn owl
        Posted May 21, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Adding that I think PCC(E) should have a copy of this monograph, if he doesn’t already own one.

      • Posted May 21, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        This from Ducks Unlimited;

        “The majority of male ducks usually invest little or no energy in rearing offspring. In swans and geese, however, both parents are active participants in brood-rearing activities and may remain with their young until the following breeding season. …..

        In most northern-nesting ducks, on the other hand, males play little to no role in brood care. In fact, most male ducks abandon the female when she begins incubation or shortly after her eggs hatch. The bright plumage of the drakes may attract predators, so the male ducks rarely attend broods. Most female ducks usually remain with their broods until they are nearly on the wing.”

        http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-research-science/parental-care

        • Posted May 21, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          What happened? I could swear I was responding to darwinwins comment. I like your monograph joke though.

          • Posted May 21, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            *sigh* I suck at this intertubes threading thing you kids are using today. Responding to myself. sheesh.

          • barn owl
            Posted May 21, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

            LOL! Make Way for Ducklings was a defining and influential reference of my childhood. I can readily retrieve most of the illustrations from hippocampal storage. And when in Boston, I never fail to visit the statue of Mrs. Mallard and her brood.

      • Posted May 21, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Peanuts? I’ve never seen a duck eat peanuts. The would have to be shelled I think.

        • barn owl
          Posted May 21, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          I’ve never actually seen anyone feed peanuts to ducks, in Boston or elsewhere. With the prevalence of peanut allergies these days, perhaps the peanut references have been expunged from recent editions of Make Way for Ducklings.

    • Diane Garlick
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:31 am | Permalink

      First of all, we’re not entirely sure Frank’s the father, are we? Secondly, I suspect he’s hanging around for the food, not partaking in any offspring-rearing (see mikeyc’s post above).

      It’s possible Frank at one time was a domestic duck. Many parks with water features have problems with people who abandon their no-longer wanted waterfowl. Or he may have simply strayed.

  7. busterggi
    Posted May 21, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Congratulations!

    I confirmed last night that my raccoon friend Rackets has a new bunch of kits somewhere, I expect to see them around the beginning of July.

  8. Diane Garlick
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    “…repeated counting shows all nine are still there.”

    Ha! Not easy to get a good count of a large brood like that, is it? Especially when they’re in water, paddling all over…


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