Thursday duck report

Honey’s been absent from the pond for two days, but I’m not worried; I suspect she’s nesting. However, when I looked at my records from last year, she showed up on March 15 but the first duckling (she had ten) didn’t appear until shortly before May 20, when I returned from France. One duckling died from exertion or drowning, and another from illness, but here she is with nine after the first death but before the second. I think eight out of ten is a pretty good record. Over the last two years she’s fledged twelve.

UPDATE: Honey showed up this afternoon and I fed her, but she’s quite skittish.

The drake, however, remains in the pond or is nearby, and in the pond he swims around and quacks softly (only the hens can make a full-throated QUACK!). This morning he was absent but came flying in beautifully when I whistled, and I just gave him lunch. Here he is quacking after his repast.

23 Comments

  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I think eight out of ten is a pretty good record.

    Ain’t bad at all; beats hell outta Meat Loaf’s two out of three

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 11, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      You took the words right out of my mouth!

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        They say great minds think alike, Jez; in our case, guess maybe puerile ones do, too. 🙂

  2. JezGrove
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Still no name for Honey’s companion? He’ll end up being “John Doe” at this rate…

  3. Mark R.
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Are mallards unique in the drake not being able to quack or is a trait among all duck species? It seems strange.

    That was a nice, serene video.

    • Mark R.
      Posted April 11, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      …is ‘it’ a trait…

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 11, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Taken straight from the Wiki on ducks:

      “Female mallard ducks make the classic “quack” sound while males make a similar but raspier sound that is sometimes written as “breeeeze”, but despite widespread misconceptions, most species of duck do not “quack”.

      In general, ducks make a wide range of calls, ranging from whistles, cooing, yodels and grunts. For example, the scaup – which are diving ducks – make a noise like “scaup” (hence their name). Calls may be loud displaying calls or quieter contact calls”

      • Mark R.
        Posted April 12, 2019 at 12:08 am | Permalink

        Odd ducks. 😉

  4. John Dentinger
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Ok, after listening to those pet sounds, I’m still gonna suggest Quacker Jack.

  5. Posted April 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    That drake is a beauty. Reggie would be a good pick (duck king and all that went before).

    It’s nice to see that the water level inside that ring is high enough, so a duckling won’t get trapped. It’d be a good idea to keep an eye on all the rings to ensure easy egress for itty bitty ducklings.

    • Posted April 11, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      I’m now in charge of the pond’s water level, thanks to physical plant being nice to me, and it’s perfect now. It’s not going to get any lower.

      • Posted April 11, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        That’s wonderful news.

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted April 11, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        An eminent emeritus professor of evolutionary biology, in negotiation with the physical plant of the University of Chicago regarding but possibly not limited to the water level of Botany Pond, raises many questions.

        • rickflick
          Posted April 12, 2019 at 12:21 am | Permalink

          This just in…

      • Posted April 11, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget the wooden planks for the turtles, I mean ducklings.

        • Posted April 12, 2019 at 5:00 am | Permalink

          I had it reinstalled, and it’s up now. On warm days the turtles are already using it.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 11, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        I’m now in charge of the pond’s water level …

        And PCC(E) said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

        And PCC(E) called the dry land Duck Island; and the gathering together of the waters called he Botany Pond: and PCC(E) saw that it was good.

        • DTaylor
          Posted April 11, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Nice!

  6. Stephen Barnard
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    That drake is a handsome fellow. Appears to be full of himself.

  7. Roger
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    How about “Betsy Drake” for the duck name..

    • Roger
      Posted April 11, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Or, for the French speakers, how about Betsy Drake for the “nom de plumage”.

      • Roger
        Posted April 11, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        P.S. I was recently shocked to learn the meaning of the words of the “Alouette” song. Yikes!

  8. dvandivere
    Posted April 12, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    The first ducklings have arrived here in Amsterdam as well. Cue the heron feeding frenzy…


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