Thursday: Duck report

Well, the ducks are getting restive—pecking and chasing each other around, and even Honey is pecking at her own offspring. It will soon be time for the ducklings to fledge, as their flight feathers seem fully grown (Honey is molting and flightless). All eight are still thriving, despite the males chasing the females around (it’s not for sex, but they’re just bullies). I just hope Anna returns from her vacation before the family leaves so she can see how big they’ve grown, and to celebrate their fledging.

Here’s the family yesterday morning, looking all peaceful and hungry. But underneath those feathers, rancor is brewing. (Honey is to the extreme left.)

The ducklings are HUGE!

 

During the afternoon feeding, one female (she quacks, ergo female) was forced to the sidelines, and I had to make sure she was fed separately and well. You can see her to the rear.

DUCK FIGHT! During feeding, two of the males (I presume they’re males) grabbed each other’s bills and went around and around in circles. Look how they’re staring each other in the eyes! Honey looks on dispassionately.

Honey has yet to grow in her flight feathers; it will take about a month. You can see they’re missing when you compare her dabbling (first photo) with that of a duckling (second photo). The ducklings have big wings with the flight feathers crossing over each other. I’m pretty sure they can fly now, but I haven’t seen them take wing.

Honey dabbling

Duckling dabbling

Finally, two snaps of my best feathered girl:

 

14 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I rather suspect that Honey thinks of you, PCC[E], as her “best man”. 😉

    • Posted July 26, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      –Yes, her favorite featherless biped with flat nails.*

      * As Plato is said to have amended his statement that a king is like a shepherd, except that the animal he herds is the ‘featherless biped’ — until the great Diogenes accosted him with a plucked chicken, saying ‘Here Plato, greet your fellow Athenian’; prompting the amendment, and Plato’s statement that Diogenes was a kind of Socrates gone mad.

      (This comment might be somewhat off topic….)

  2. revelator60
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    A shame to see that duck family life is as fractious and quarrelsome as our own!

    • Posted July 27, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Since we are all part of the animal kingdom, I can’t help but notice similarities in our behaviors (there are many). 😀

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    … one female (she quacks, ergo female) was forced to the sidelines …

    Wut up wit’ dat?

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Soap opera duckie style – I hope the ducklings depart before they drive Honey to the bottle!

    There’s a marvellous luminous quality to those dappled light water photos above. Good photographer involved most probably…

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Love the play of reflections on the water. I see you have a female gingko tree on the site. Hope its not too stinky.

  6. Caldwell
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    “Why a Female Duck (common merganser ) Was Spotted with a Huge Brood of 76 Ducklings”

    smithsonianmag.com/
    smart-news/
    why-female-duck-was-spotted-huge-brood-76-ducklings-180969757/

  7. Hempenstein
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    OK, important question. Does Honey’s bill look the same as it did in the spring? And ref to last year?

    • Liz
      Posted July 27, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      This is a good question. I also think you can start to tell a little bit what the sex is of the ducklings based on their bill coloring. In the first picture it looks like there are probably three ducklings that are definitely male. I saw some ducklings yesterday preening on rocks in a creek. It reminded me of these ducklings on here. I took a few pictures. After looking more closely, I noticed that there were definitely a couple of male ducklings. Their bills were yellow with no brown and their heads were starting to turn green.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted July 28, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Thx!

  8. Roger
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    They don’t seem to miss Frank very much.

  9. Wayne Y Hoskisson
    Posted July 26, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Watching Honey’s ducklings grow and mature has been satisfying. I will miss the daily reports when they are gone for the year. I hope Honey returns. Although, we should get more squirrels for a few months.

    We raised chicks when I was a kid. But that was different. We knew their fate. My brother could’t accept their fate and refused to eat chicken for years. We raised bummer lambs a few years but that never ended well. Neighborhood dogs managed to cut their lives short of being served at the table.

  10. Posted July 27, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Honey, her clan, and their exploits remind me a bit of the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull…except Honey’s story is real.


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