Friday duck report

Honey was here all day yesterday, and was joined at some point between yesterday evening and this morning by Jim (James Pond), her enormous and handsome boyfriend.  Apparently they’ve bonded somehow, as he probably came back here for her, the noms, or both.  I have no idea where the two of them go when they’re not here. At any rate, Anna and I decided that we couldn’t let them migrate south in a state of sin, so Anna pronounced Jim and Honey married and then we gave them lunch.

Here’s Honey yesterday afternoon. Look at those flight feathers all lined up neatly. She’s a beauty!

At yesterday’s feeding—and both ducks are now gobbling the duckling chow that Honey rejected during her molt—Honey was bothered by both turtles and fish. There are two species of fish: goldfish (koi) and those small dark numbers in the photo below. Can anyone identify this fish?

Anna was amused by the goldfish competing for food with Honey, and took her picture. I then took a picture of Anna taking a picture of Honey. I quite like this shot, which Anna describes as “meta.”

Honey on Duck Island #1 (the north one). She and Frank sometimes rested on separate islands, but after they were officially wed today they both repaired to this island for their Honeymoon.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Honey, as it shows the great beauty of her plumage, her high cheekbones, the neat array of her feathers, and her cute beady brown eyes. It’s also a good photo of her bill for identification should she return next year.

Honey and James having breakfast this morning. He’s still very polite, and they eat together without competition or rancor.


Here’s a low-quality video of breakfast (it was dark and early when I took this). Note that at 54 seconds, James swims backwards, something I’ve seen him do even more strikingly, and something that I’ve never seen Honey do. I don’t know how he does that, but he’s capable of swimming about six feet backwards very fast. Since he’s become tamer, and since he’s discovered that what we feed Honey tastes really good to him, too, he’s come closer to us. Thus we’ve discovered that James constantly emits a series of low quacks. I have a video that should reveal the quacks, but I’ll put that up this weekend.

I still think that, because of his white feathers and huge size, James is a partial hybrid with a domesticated mallard (Long Island duck).

No bread!:

Have a good Labor Day weekend (if you’re American)! I’ll be here tending the ducks (if they’re here).


  1. davidintoronto
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Mazel tov to the newlyweds!

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I hear Capistrano’s a nice honeymoon spot, if you don’t mind the swallows.

  3. Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    That’s just what I needed after spending a depressing hour browsing

  4. Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Or Labour Day if you’re Canadian.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Or Fathers’ Day if you’re a NZer and have a father.

  5. Sarah
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Are the black fish carp?

    • Mike
      Posted September 1, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      I was just thinking that, they look like ordinary Carp.

      • Achrachno
        Posted September 1, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        The larger fish with coarse scales, toward the back of the image, is a carp but the smaller fish lurking under the reed stem is probably a bluegill, or perhaps a green sunfish. Or maybe a tilapia? A better photo might help. But for now, I’m going with bluegill as my best guess.

        • Achrachno
          Posted September 1, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          The dark tip in the gill cover supports bluegill “Lepomis macrochirus” as the smaller fish.

  6. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Since they are onto a very good thing, perhaps they will decide to stay at Botany Pond for the winter?

    • Hempenstein
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Yep, my thoughts too. PCC[E] just passed along his newly-gained knowledge that some mallards don’t migrate. What we didn’t learn was whether, if an individual duck migrates, it always migrates. Honey could well have decided that she tried that migration business and Botany Pond seems to offer a better solution. Particularly after flying off for a day and finding no humans distributing corn and mealworms.

      • Posted October 14, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Maybe it is better for the couple to have the honeymoon away. PCC reported some really cold days last winder.

  7. Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous photos!

  8. Posted August 31, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    My guess is that the small dark fish are mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis): I have them in my pond.

  9. Posted August 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    The black fish could be a goldfish or Koi, despite the colour, but it’s hard to tell from the photo. Also Koi have whiskers, while goldfish don’t. The pond overlords might know what the pond is stocked with. I hear that tilapia is a good choice for these kinds of ponds, and you can catch and eat ’em!

  10. Heather Hastie
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely lot of pics of Honey and her swain. 🙂

  11. rickflick
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be having the same problems with my pet hummingbirds. They’ll be leaving on their migration south in a week or two. I’m beginning to feel separation anxiety already.

  12. Posted September 1, 2018 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    So damn sweet! You are so lucky she loves you people and your big/little pond paradise! 🦆👍💕

  13. Posted October 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    If I remember correctly, Honey’s previous groom Frank also looked like a hybrid.

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