OMG: Ducks are back!

Two mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)—a drake and a hen—showed up at Botany Pond this morning when it was cold and rainy. I took a few quick photos, and, judging from the hen’s bill markings, she didn’t look like Honey.  I did feed them, as they were hungry, but that might have been a mistake: if they stay and Honey shows up with her drake later on, there could be Duck Wars.

The photos are blurry because of the darkness and rain:

23 Comments

  1. Posted March 20, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope they are harbingers of an early spring and warmer weather! 🙂

  2. jhs
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Duck wars! Hmmm… whose side would I be on?

  3. Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Could be a temporary stop-over on the way to ‘their’ stomping grounds. They may have done as much in previous years, pre-Honey.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Lovely!

    I hope Honey is well.

    Who knows, perhaps they’ll live and let live…

  5. Barry Lyons
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    What kind of memory do ducks have? COULD Honey return? Is it conceivable? I guess you’ll find out soon. “That guy who always feeds me. I gotta go see him again.”

    • Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Honey clearly can return, as she had a brood here two years ago, went away, and returned in the spring of 2018 to breed here again.

      I better not feed today’s ducks, as I want Honey to return and breed here again. She’s fledged 12 ducklings in the two years she was in Botany Pond.

      • Dominic
        Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Could it be a daughter? You should see if you can get some local bird group to ring them this year… 🙂

        • Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          Ringing would sure be handy. Even if one or both were ‘F1s’, I don’t think they would co-exist with Honey on this location.

      • Posted March 20, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        The female does not look like she needs feeding. I wonder how she can be so round immediately after a migration.

  6. Sean
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Are you sure neither of them are Honey’s progeny?

    • Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Don’t know about the drake. But hens start out with a mostly yellow bill. This gets darker and mottled with age.

    • Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I have no idea. Yes, I should have had the ducks ringed, but that would have freaked them out, and I doubt that anybody would do it. Plus there were eight ducklings in addition to Honey and James.

  7. Roger
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Yesterday I saw some Sandhill cranes with their delightfully annoying sounds they make. Almost as annoying as the sounds bulls make but not quite as annoying. Although both are delightful so don’t get me wrong birds and bulls. One does not want bulls nor cranes mad at one.

  8. rickflick
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Birds are just now becoming active in these temperate zones. Migrating north and getting their reproductive cycles kicked into high gear. The males of many species are practicing their songs for mating, while others, like these ducks are already paired. Spring is a great season.

  9. J Cook
    Posted March 20, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    When a duck molts do their mandible markings change? Do they change as a duck ages?

  10. Posted March 20, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    The drake looks very much like Billzebub!!!!!

  11. Posted March 22, 2019 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Could the hen be one of Honey’s daughters returning to what she could consider home?


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