Troubles in the duck pond

The latest duck report is a bit sad. Without telling me, and despite their promise that they wouldn’t do anything to the pond, Grounds and Landscape Services sent two people to the pond this morning to cut down the tall reeds at the north end of the big pond, and they used small chainsaws and stuff, which must have made a lot of noise. When I went down this morning to feed Honey and Phoebe, there were no ducks in the pond–they might have been spooked. I complained, though it was of course too late, and they told me that they “were under the impression the ducks had moved on.” Of course they neither looked at the pond nor asked me.

When I went back later in the morning, and again just now, Phoebe was there, but was really, really scared, cowering in a corner of the pond (in the small one). I tried to feed her twice, but I can’t even get close enough to her to toss her food. She is, apparently traumatized.  She will eat corn and mealworms if you can toss them hard enough to reach her, but she won’t come when I whistle, and may miss her companion Honey as well. Honey appears gone for good, though perhaps she may return. I hope so but don’t think so.

This would be a sad way to end Honey’s tenure here, and I’m a bit worried about Phoebe being able to migrate on her own.  I was going to post pictures and videos today, but I’ll wait a bit to see if mom comes back.


  1. Posted August 14, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, this is heartbreaking; the poor things. Hopefully Phoebe will come to you and Honey will come back. How traumatic for the poor loves = (

  2. Jenny Haniver
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    This is dreadful news. I hope that the food will allay Phoebe’s fears, at least somewhat. But where is Honey? If she can’t yet fly, where is she? This is not a way to end the summer.

    • Posted August 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      That’s my concern too, could she fly?

  3. Peter N
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I have faith that Honey will return.

  4. busterggi
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I can’t ‘like’ this one, its too disturbing. Honey may well come back but Phoebe really is on her own now, If you can put out some plants or whatever for her to hide behind it may help.

    • Posted August 14, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I was just thinking of whether I can press the “like” button, but I’ll just second your opinion.

  5. GBJames
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink


  6. Posted August 14, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear that Jerry – the ducks have shown their resilience before, so hopefully it is about to be displayed again.

  7. Posted August 14, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    “Impression the ducks moved on”…

    Malice. They knew full well they had not. In their defense they do have duties to fulfill.

    Where there were once threats from wolves and foxes there are now chainsaws.

    • busterggi
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Wolves & foxes are more merciful.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear this. Not cool!

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Not cool at all! 😦

  9. Posted August 14, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    This is so sad. I hope Honey returns and Phoebe starts coming closer to be fed.

  10. Brad
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    STUNNED-SAD-ANGRY @ “grounds” I sure hope that Phoebe adjusts & “gets the hell out of Dodge” for the winter. Condolences, Jerry 😦 (no, I do not know how to make emoji’s)

  11. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Pisses me off. I hope you’re calming down Prof.

    I see the manager of GL&S, Brandon Rux has a BSc in Turf Science & comes from a country club golf grounds maintenance background. Perfect lawns & all that bollix. Does he get out of the office away from his charts & schedules?

    It looks like GL&S are putting their schedule first “hmmm, calendar sez cut back the pond flora. Go to it boys”- I wonder if GL&S need a bit of education on the untidy, lovely botany & zoology within their kingdom. Animals & plants before neaty neat borders – them pesky ducks bring garden lunchers = litter.

    Am I being harsh on the ramp providers?

  12. Posted August 14, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for your sad news. But she may yet appear, as long as they are done disturbing that area. Here’s hopin’.

  13. Paul Matthews
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it. Don’t the people responsible for the pond like that it has actual wildlife? Or is it just supposed to be some sterile artificial ornamental pond? If the former, why on earth do they do things that are guaranteed to terrorize the wildlife?

    The above being said, I’m optimistic that Honey will return and Phoebe will get over her traumatized state once they’re confident that the ruckus has died down. Mallards are usually pretty tough and adaptable!

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Go Phoebe, go Phoebe, go Phoebe.

    This story demands a happy ending.

  15. BJ
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Honey will be back. This has been a years-long soap opera. They always come out of the coma/lose their amnesia/find out it was the twin sister who was murdered.

  16. Laurance
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Jerry…I’m heartbroken to hear this news! All I can do is hope they come back, if not this year, then next.

  17. Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    It also makes me very sad to hear this news.
    I can only hope that there will be a happy ending to this story.

  18. Melanie
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    I’m so sorry and sad. Will cling to the confidence of others that it will all work out. The duckies know you and trust you.

  19. Diane G
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Oh how sad! I’m reading this quite late so I do hope there’s a follow-up post saying all’s back to normal. But I’m almost afraid to look.

    Damn PEOPLE!

  20. alexander
    Posted August 15, 2018 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    I think “landscaping” is a waste: cutting bushes down into geometric shapes, using weed killers, etc. Nature is at its best leaving it alone. I once had a neighbour who trimmed her perfect (but ugly) lawns with scissors!

  21. Posted August 15, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I am confident that the ducks will be fine as long as wildfowlers do not shoot them…

  22. Posted August 15, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Geez! I could just whack those humans and their overlords with a broom! Dang it, the place is called Botany Pond for land’s sake!

%d bloggers like this: