Tuesday: Duck report (with bonus video)

Well, the gang’s all here. This is the line for breakfast yesterday, with Honey, as usual, bringing up the rear. Comparing her photo to pictures from last year, she looks considerably slimmer this year and I need to feed her up. It’s hard, though, as she lets the ducklings eat first and then they all swim off to for bathtime. When they finally migrate away and she’s alone, I’m going to give her tons of good food.

Yep, the ducklings are very large now, and their wings are getting bigger (see pictures below):

Anna took a nice video of yesterday’s bathtime. Lots of ducking, preening, and splashing in the tub. At one point all of them manage to get into the small circular tub. Notice the “duckling race” at 46 seconds in, when one duck, and then the others, take off swimming as fast as they can. I have no idea why they do this!

Here are pictures from yesterday’s noon bathtime:

They do enjoy their splashing:

Big wings!

And. . . ladies and gentlemen, our first view of the speculum (blue/violet wing band) on a duckling!

Today’s bathtime, with more wing flapping:

Still more wing flapping. Soon they’ll be flying.

Their wings aren’t full-sized yet, but they’re getting there:

And my perennial girlfriend (with turtles):

 

15 Comments

  1. W.T. Effingham
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Great video. Perhaps (for a brief stretch) they could be referred to The Not Ready for Prime Time Take-off Players.

  2. GBJames
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    The light seems particularly nice in these photos.

  3. nicky
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Your ducklings look adult now. All eight, splendid job! I fear that the time for good-byes is neigh indeed. But as a parent you must let your fledgelings go, as you know, of course. But these things can be difficult.

    [I hope you will forgive me, but I know you like the football World Cup, hence I dare to mention it.
    Yesterday saw the most awesome comeback in the knockout stages in half a century: Belgium trailed Japan 2-0 with 20 minutes to play, and they managed to win 3-2. If you didn’t see it: recommended. Five goals in the second half, and four of them outstanding.]

  4. jellen
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, you must not be concerned that your semi-domestication of the ducklings, by hand feeding them, will impede their thriving when they fly away. Why are you not concerned?

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I guess you don’t like bird feeders, then. Honey came back this year after being fed last year, and they know how to forage on their own as I’ve seen them.

      Why are you not concerned that you are telling me what to do? I suggest you go to other sites and tell people to stop feeding the birds with bird feeders. There are lots of those people!

      Jebus.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    it is amazing how fast they have grown

    i must add that these duck care reports have tuned my observational skills for ducks.

  6. yazikus
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Remarkable how fast they have grown!

  7. ladyatheist
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    It’s hard to determine a bird’s body size from observation because they use their feathers to regulate heat. They may look “big” when it’s cold out because they’ve made themselves an air envelope.

    They all look happy & healthy. I bet the racing is part of the “flight” instinct. When one sees a prey animal and takes off, the ones that don’t react to that would be lunch & the ones that follow the leader would live to see another breeding season. If not instinct, perhaps Honey has modeled that behavior when non nom-giving humans are around.

  8. SusanD
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    “one duck, and then the others, take off swimming as fast as they can. I have no idea why they do this!” maybe it’s the equivalent of my cats suddenly running up and down the stairs at top speed, meowing their heads off – the cat crazies!

  9. Diane G
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that last portrait of Honey is gorgeous!

  10. Roger
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    My theory on the duck race is they have developed a religion from watching too much TV where they worship Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd is the evil god equivalent to Satan. They have developed a ritual where they are fleeing away from Elmer.

  11. barn owl
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Honey makes of the watermelon that PCC(E) will give her, once the kids leave. Not that it won’t be sad when the ducklings leave …

  12. Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Are ducks sexually mature after 1 year?

  13. Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Raised some cockatiels years ago and young birds can be hilarious when all that flapping finally turns into flying. They seem very surprised at first (WEEE!), then excited by the speed. But almost immediately they realize they don’t know how to steer or land and so go splat into a wall or tree. Flying takes practice, a dangerous time for baby birds.

  14. Posted July 12, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    They are big now!


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