Wednesday: Duck report

Speaking of ducks, I tender another report on Honey and her man. This may be the last duck report of the year, as there have been no ducks in the pond since yesterday afternoon, when Anna last fed Honey and James Pond. Today, duckwise, there’s nothing, nada, bupkes. I will see if Honey shows up tomorrow, but she and her swain may have already headed to wherever the hell they migrate.

Here are some photos. The first three were taken the day before yesterday, when Honey was alone in the pond. I love to get front views of her, but it’s not easy. She looks rotund from the front, but she’s really not fat at all. Look at those lovely high cheekbones!

Waiting for James. She’s just groomed herself and has a down feather stuck to her beak.

Another front view with the neck more extended. The pattern of the feathers on her breast is lovely:

These photos are from yesterday, when James Pond showed up and the pair swam and fed together.  James is a very handsome drake, and also very large. Anna and I have both decided that he would make a suitable mate for Honey, as his size would drive off competitors, and he’s also very polite and gentlemanly. Look at that lovely purple speculum! His bright and unblemished yellow bill must also be attractive to the ladies. He does have a fair amount of white, and that, combined with his size, makes me wonder if he’s a hybrid with the “Long Island duck,” a white domestic version of the same species.

Yesterdy James finally learned the meaning of corn and mealworms. Heretofore he’d watched Honey eat at feeding time and perhaps have a nibble or two, but he wouldn’t eat much. Yesterday he discovered that corn and mealworms were good, and he tucked in. But he didn’t compete with Honey for the food: they foraged peacefully together, side by side.

Corn is best tossed onto the lily pads, as they can eat it faster and there’s no danger of it sinking to the bottom where it can’t be reached. The turtles have also learned to climb aboard the lily pads, though they tend to sink under the reptiles’ weight:

Time for mealworms!

Aren’t they a cute couple? And they nap on the island together.

I don’t know if they’re gone for good. I leave next Wednesday for a bit of R&R in California, and I hope Honey leaves before I do. I also hope that she and James will migrate together, even though I think that’s unrealistic.

Last year Honey left for parts unknown on September 1, and it’s getting close to that time. But I hope that somehow in her little duck brain is a bit of satisfaction that she fledged eight healthy offspring this summer. Twelve in two years! What a hen!



  1. Posted August 29, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    She looks imPECKable. 😉

  2. yazikus
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Safe travels, Honey & James!

    for a bit of R&R in California

    Here’s to hoping for no fires or earthquakes. CA has had a rough late summer.

  3. Ken Phelps
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    You know, after the first two or three pictures there, I thought we were going to go full Song of Solomon.

    “Her beak is like the Tower of Lebanon, which looketh toward Evanston…”

  4. Frank Bath
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    A Cockney writes: Cor lummy, love-a-duck.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    … she and her swain may have already headed to wherever the hell they migrate.

    Why that cad! That rake!! That gigolo!!!

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Our gal’s not fat, merely well-endowed. Tout du monde au balcon!

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      “look at those lovely cheekbones” though??

      This is getting worrying on the part of PCC 🙂

  7. Mark R.
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    If this is the last Duck Report for the year, it was a good one to end on. It’s nice to see the lovely pair in the sunshine.

  8. enl
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Professor Ceiling Duck:

    I do hope you get a chance to see her one more time before she (and you) go. But if this is the last report, it is a nice ending.

  9. Posted August 29, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    What fulsome beauty and grace! Honey cuts a splendid Rubenesque figure.

    If she’s gone for the rest of the year, I’ll have to get my daily fix from Maru who has taken up tobogganing:

  10. Diane G
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see the handsome, happy pair. I’m going to miss the Honey stories when she’s gone!

  11. Christopher
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    After the day and night I’ve had, to read a nice little piece on you and your little duck family…I almost want to cry. Why people have to make life on earth so f***ing horrible every damn day…! I want to scream and cuss and do hell I don’t know but your and your ducks makes a little bit of this misery a little less miserable. Thank you.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Hey Chris, hope you’re okay. The human brain readjusts itself if you give it long enough, and gets back into its bearable middling rhythm. Ride it out friend, whatever it is.

      • Diane G
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        + 1

        Hang in there, Christopher. I care!

  12. Carolynne Scott
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting these private bird activities. I’m very interested in everything you said.Don’t know where this is taking place. I live in Alabama.

    • Posted August 30, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      It’s in Chicago at the University of Chicago where there’s a lovely pond outside my building.

  13. Carolynne Scott
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on your local ducks. I find it quite interesting to look into their private lives. Don’t know where you are reporting this, I live in Alabama.

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