Monday: Duck report

The ducks are still around, but it’s warm and not migration time yet. In the meantime, Anna sends this news:

Ducks are doing well! They seem to be taking their marriage very seriously and staying together peacefully.  I caught a video of James swimming backwards.

JAC note: James has a skill that I haven’t heretofore seen in our mallard drakes: he can swim backwards. That’s one of many reasons he’s a good mate for Honey.

The video:

Two photos:



  1. Glenda Palmer
    Posted September 10, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Any day now I imagine they will head south. Fewer hours of daylight, cooler weather and they will soon give up their pampered life at Botany Pond with PCC. Maybe they will buy a condo around the Gulf of Mexico. Sure hope they come back next spring.

    • George
      Posted September 10, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Ducks stick around until the first freeze. That might mean end of November/early December. I don’t see them heading south until the end of October. There will still be plenty of open water for the ducks to rest and refuel on their way south.

      Honey and James may leave Botany Pond for good before that. The Pond is small. They may join other ducks in a larger habitat before it is time to migrate. James probably prefers the Pond. If he and Honey have coupled, part of his job is to ward off the advances of other males. Something he does not have to do at the Pond. But Botany Pond is not a place to spend the winter.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 10, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Let us know when he can do it in high heels, like Ginger Rogers.

    • Serendipitydawg
      Posted September 10, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Nice! I have a greetings card with a picture of Fred & Ginger that is captioned “I did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels”. 🙂

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 10, 2018 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    QUESTIONS: Is it only drakes? I can’t find videos of hens reverse paddling
    [1] If it’s just drakes… It’s an advanced strategy to drive off rival drakes without much risk i.e. eyes protected from bill attacks by shoving the rival with a plump stern
    [2] In shallow water the duck is raising food such as worms from the bottom of the pond – by using its webbed feet to stir up the water close to the bottom. It might be useful to observe if reverse paddling is mainly a shallow water activity.
    Here’s a champion reverse paddle drake:

    And here’s another drake – almost as good:

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 10, 2018 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      regarding [2]: The point I’m making is the feet disturb the worms & the duck reverses into the disturbed area to feed. This seems more efficient than using the bill to both disturb & feed.

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