Friday: Duck report

It’s a steamy Friday, and the ducks are wilted, napping on their island. Their appetites even seem to have flagged, though they may just be foraging on their own. All eight ducklings are in good nick, and their wings are getting large; they even flap them just to test them out. It won’t be long now, and I wish dearly that I could see a duck’s first flight. That’s not likely, but I’m enjoying my last few weeks with them.

Here are a few pictures taken yesterday and today.

This is what I encountered yesterday morning after whistling. They all swam toward me in a line, with Honey bringing up the rear. I suspect Honey’s following position helps her keep a better eye on her brood.

Mealworm and duck pellet time. You can pick Honey out because of her whiter tail (top), but I swear that she’s not much larger than her offspring now.

Mom with her mottled bill. The black triangle at junction of the left side of her bill and her face is a distinguishing mark:

Mom watching her young ‘uns dabble and preen:

The Good Mother Duck. I think she looks fine—not too skinny since I’ve been feeding her up.

Spot the hen! I’m wondering if Honey hasn’t started her molt already, as that looks like a primary feather on the island behind her, and her wings look shorter. Birdy readers, what do you think?

Finally, feeding time in this morning’s darkness. Turtles abound, cleaning up the uneaten mealworms and pellets, so nothing is wasted. Can you spot Honey here?

And remember, on May 22 the ducklings looked like this:

12 Comments

  1. Posted July 13, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Almost time for mom to give those freeloaders the boot! Let them find their own professor! 😉

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 13, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Pretty sure the ducks know when to go. Not like humans.

      • Posted July 13, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes, probably. However, there are many species where the kids try to stick around until they’re pushed out by mom and/or pop. We are not alone in that.

        • Mike
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          I have been watching a Family of Bald Eagles, the three Eaglets fledged about a month ago, but they are still hanging around and being fed by Mum, and they will try to take the fish out of her Talons in mid air. I suspect it won’t be long before they leave for good, once they have learned to Fish, and as the nest is next to a Trout Farm, they should soon learn.

          • Posted July 16, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

            Interesting how certain animal behaviors parallel human ones. Got to kick those moochers out while still protecting their genetic heritage.

  2. busterggi
    Posted July 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Its always tough to catch a child’s first step, I doubt that out of the dozens of cockatiels I’ve raised that I ever saw one’s first flight.

  3. Liz
    Posted July 13, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Honey is the one on the upper left facing the ducklings.

  4. Mark R.
    Posted July 13, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Honey is looking very fit and healthy.

  5. Posted July 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I remember the heron that hanged around a while ago, harboring hopes for a duckling snack. Now, with their sizes, he wouldn’t bother even to slow down.

  6. Posted July 14, 2018 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Marvelous! I hate the word “heartwarming”, so I won’t use it. Or did I just do so?

  7. peter
    Posted July 14, 2018 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Honey looks a very content duck.

  8. Posted July 14, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    They haven’t yet fledged and already I’m missing them. You have a fine family, PCCE.


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