Wednesday: duck report

Anna came over at noon to help me feed the ducks (it goes much more smoothly with two people), but we were so busy that I forgot to take pictures of the feeding. I can report, though, that all eight ducklings are in good shape, Honey appears to be putting on weight, and the “curvy” Frank is still being fed, too. They’ve all had two hearty meals today, and I’ve ordered more mealworms.

What I can document is the regular behavior of the family after eating: they head for the center of the pond near the tree island, Honey begins to groom herself and submerge her body repeatedly (sometimes flapping her wings vigorously), and the ducklings follow suit. It’s ineffably cute. I don’t know if they’re actually learning how to groom from Mom or it’s instinctive, but it’s a joy to watch. Here’s a bit of it:

Let the ablutions begin!

Meanwhile, the duck ramp I had installed has found a different use. That’s not an issue, though, as all the ducklings can come ashore on the bank and can climb on both tree islands to get away from people and predators.

UPDATE: Matthew sent me this tweet with the accompanying words, “It’s YOU!” But the video is heartwarming, even if the duck looks like Trump! (Turn on sound.) Is my fate to be “The Duck Man”?


  1. BobTerrace
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    The turtles culturally appropriated the duck ramp.

    • GBJames
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      The turtles should check their privilege.

  2. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Those newly submerged rings are very convenient for duck bathing! They look so cute. 🙂

  3. Posted May 30, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    That is simply adorable – love it

  4. ladyatheist
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


    Will you start feeding them too? I bet you can train them to come when you whistle.

    • Posted May 30, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      They get lots of the food that sinks to the bottom, like the corn Honey doesn’t get.

      I got my hands full with ducks!

      • Posted May 30, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure you know this great Kliban cartoon–

        • Posted May 30, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          No, but that’s a good one. I think there’s one by Gary Larson about a scientific meeting where everyone is wearing a lab coat and carrying a duck, but one academic forgot his duck.

          Ah, here it is.

  5. Posted May 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m counting at most seven ducklings in those pictures. Is one straying from the flock?

  6. Nicholas K.
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I cannot help but think of Konrad Lorenz and his ducks. I’ve learned so much in the past month on duck behavior and learning!

  7. Posted May 30, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Goodness. I usually find those Dodo vignettes to be far to mawkish, but that little Puff actually looks like she’s happy and smiling.

  8. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    How funny! The turtles – of course, right? They love that sun.

  9. Rita
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I so love these duck reports!

  10. Roger
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Honey and the Honettes seriously need to ditch Frank and find a decent manager.

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    … the “curvy” Frank …

    When they get around to bowdlerizing the bible for political correctness (if they haven’t done so already) will Luke 15:23 read “bring hither the plus-sized calf”?

  12. LB
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    They are getting so big!!! They’ll be grown before you know it. So cute! Thank you for these posts–they make my day. 🙂

  13. Eric
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I think you will enjoy this video. I did.

    • Mark R.
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink


  14. Hempenstein
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Re. your Havanas, I understand they’re not like they used to be. My father had an Army pal from WWII, John Dyer Bennet, eventually Emeritus Professor of Math @ Carleton College (and brother of early English balladeer/minstrel Richard) who only smoked pre-embargo Havanas when he could get them (this was back ~1970). He maintained that what distinguished p-e Havanas was their mildness, and the closest thing readily available was a White Owl.

  15. Lynn Wilhelm
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I met Puff the Duck here at the North Carolina State Vet School. My cubicle is near the exotics specialty service. Puff was so adorable, she died recently. Here’s Puff the Duck’s FB page:

    Btw, it’s apparently not good for ducks to swim in swimming pools, even salt pools.

    • Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      That’s Not what killed Her Lynn Wilhelm! She was Egg Bound and didn’t make it through a Surgery. Maybe you should speak to Tara there who saw her regularly. Thanks

      Ps. The ducks and others would enjoy either koi pond food. It floats and it can also feed whatever else you have in the pond. Also Mazur food floats too. However ponds with a lot of green algae can and will Kill a Duck Quick. They can’t have any bacteria, mold or etc.

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