Thursday: Duck report

We have a special treat today: a video of BATHTIME taken by Anna. You can see the little ones dunking and disporting themselves in “the tub”. First, though, some pictures:

There are still eight, and for the first time they look larger to me:

This morning it was sunny (I fed them late), and Frank joined the family at postprandial bathtime (they always bathe and preen after they eat). He’s being nicer to the ducklings now, and I haven’t seen him chase them for about two days:

When I met Anna at the pond at 2 p.m., she was completely surrounded by excited kids who wanted to feed the ducks. (School was over yesterday.) So she gave them mealworms and duckling starter food, and they all had a good time feeding Honey and the brood. Look closely between the kids and you can see them.

We kept Frank and Henry busy at the other end of the pond by feeding them. I feel sorry for Henry, who’s at the bottom of the pecking order. But he gets along with Frank, who’s at the top, so the order isn’t transitive. They were hungry!

After afternoon bathtime, the brood repaired to the island for some preening:

. . . while poor Henry, beleaguered by both Honey and humans (he’s very shy), retired to his secluded corner of the pond. Note his fully brown chest compared to Frank’s pale chest in the second picture above. Henry is not a hybrid, and I suspect Frank is. I find this picture sad, and wonder if he’s lonely:

And of course the turtles are everywhere. Here they’re trying to make a model of how the world is supported. So far it’s only two turtles all the way down:

And your special treat: a video of bathtime filmed by Anna on her cellphone. You can see Honey overlooking the fun, Frank on his way to join them and then, 12 seconds in, a duckling shakes his tiny little stubs of wings. Some day those wings will carry him hundreds of miles. Be sure to watch this with the picture enlarged!


  1. busterggi
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    “they look larger to me:”

    I would hope so!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      We always look fatter in photos.

  2. nicky
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, shrinkage would be unusual, especially when so systematically fed.

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    They’re so cute, and the video is wonderful!

  4. Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    A video at last!

    I have noticed, as time went by from your first duckling post and each succeeding ducklling post, that they have been steadily growing! I understand that you haven’t noticed it all that much – just as parents don’t see their babies’ growth as well and markedly as do others, that’s because they are with their babies all of the time.

    I have always loved ducks and other aquatic birds, and found ducklings to be devastatingly cute!

    How is this for cuteness? 🙂

  5. George
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    A picture of Botany Pond posted on the Chicago Booth instagram account. Assume that is Frank and Henry floating along. The various UofC (one of these days I might call it uchicago) instagram and facebook accounts regularly post pictures of Botany Pond.

    View this post on Instagram

    Afternoon sunshine on campus.

    A post shared by ChicagoBooth (@chicagobooth) on

  6. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh Henry!

    Can ducks eat chocolate bars?

    I hope poor, beleaguered Henry keeps his bill up – he looks so forlorn all by himself. Give him extra food please PCC…

  7. Posted June 7, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    In the video Honey seems to be “wagging” her tail in motherly joy in response to the duckling trying out its wings.

    They are a lot larger now. Their bodies are roughly half the length of the adults. When we first saw them, they were roughly 1/4 the length.

    Perhaps Henry is the shy scientist type happily working on his duck-toral thesis. 😉

    • George
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      More likely, Henry is an ABD who works as a bartender at Jimmy’s.

  8. David Duncan
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Do any ducks there eat peas? ISTR some did last year.

    • Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      No, they eschew peas, lettuce, fruit, and all green vegetables. But the duckling started food is packed with nutrition for both ducklings and adults.

  9. Glenda
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Botany Pond with the ducks and ducklings, the turtles, PCC and lovely surroundings – it’s enchanted.

    The ducklings are big enough now that I think they might all be flying south with Honey and Frank.

  10. Frank Bath
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    ‘Turtles all the way down.’ It makes me laugh every time.

  11. Posted June 7, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful post. Thanks, Jerry, Anna, Sanja!

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