Wednesday: Duck report

Four drakes have been patrolling Botany Pond for several days; three are smallish, and perhaps yearlings—maybe they’re Honey’s offspring. But the Boss Duck, who tries to get rid of them constantly, is Honey’s mate Gregory Peck, who’s identifiable by his large head and his head color, which has more purple in it than the other drakes.

Here’s Greg:

In the right light his purple color becomes quite visible.

My philosophy is to feed Gregory so he stays around to protect Honey and her ducklings when she returns, but not feed the other drakes since they could go after mom or offspring when they return. This is nearly impossible to implement, as Gregory will come for food when I whistle and begin eating, but then the Interloper Drakes see him eating and approach the noms. He then tries to drive them away, but since there are four of them he can’t do it without another one sneaking in from the side for noms. It’s almost funny, but I feel sorry for them all. It’s tough to be a drake.

Here’s the pack, with Gregory in the foreground.

x

And here is Gregory nomming corn, but at the end he takes off in pursuit of an interloper.

And I forgot that it’s Bat Appreciation Day. My bad! In honor of the only flying mammal, here’s a tweet sent to me by Su.

11 Comments

  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    He [Gregory Peck] then tries to drive them away, but since there are four of them he can’t do it without another one sneaking in from the side for noms.

    Sounds like Lucy and Ethel working the chocolate-factory conveyor belt. 🙂

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Had a bit of a mallard scene here today. One of the ponds is very close to the house and a mallard couple was in the back yard. Suddenly I hear this bang against the sliding doors and there was a drake just outside. He must have hit the glass but it did not hurt him.

  3. Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    So this is what ducktente looks like.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they ARE Honey’s offspring and they made a bee-line for this watering hole after their long flight back. They might even remember you feeding them, Jerry.

  4. Jenny Haniver
    Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The third and especially the fourth photos are very cool. I don’t see ducks in a pond but: 1)an optical illusion. Because of the striations on the water (made by shadows, ripples, light?)I see a vertical, not a horizontal plane, so the ducks are are suspended as on a wall, one above another.

    2): Another optical illusion, related to the first. Because of the shadows, ripples, and light, the water seems to turn into a hanging tapestry.

    PS Save the name David Pecker for one of the male ducks.

  5. rickflick
    Posted April 17, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Mallards are beautiful birds, as these pictures show, but they are apt to be ignored since they are quite common.

  6. Posted April 17, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Bring the super soaker with you?

    -Ryan

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

      I’ve tried that; the Interloper Drakes just fly to the far end of the pond. They are tenacious.

  7. Chuck
    Posted April 17, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps a water pistol (or a spray bottle set on stream) could keep the other drakes away. I’m not convinced that’s the right thing to do, but if it benefits Gregory then it might benefit Honey and her new chicks. Moral dilemmas!

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:36 am | Permalink

      I have already used my Super Soaker on the invading drakes, but it hasn’t work. I don’t see it as immoral as it doesn’t hurt the ducks but just scares them a bit.


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