All ten ducklings survive first day and are eating well

Anna sent a report about feeding the ducklings this evening. When I tried feeding at about 3 pm, the hen (she’s not yet named) and her brood were skittish. But when I tossed some food in the water and withdrew, they eventually came over and ate.

They’re all very timid—much more so than were Honey and her brood last year—and don’t like food tossed at them. My feeding was also complicated by the arrival of another hen (perhaps Honey!), which interrupted dinner when the mother hen tried to chase out the new one, with Gregory interfering and protecting the new arrival.

Anna found out this method works very well: Toss and Withdraw. They eventually find the food.

All ten ducklings are happy and eating, and so survived their first day in the pond. Here’s a photo of dinner provided by Anna. I count nine in this photo but Anna assures me there are ten in the pond:

This is a critical time as the ducklings desperately need nourishment in their first days. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I’m thinking of naming mom Katie Peck, since the nice facilities person who’s helping with the pond is, coincidentally, named Katie Peck, and, of course, our hen’s mate is named Gregory Peck. The Grounds staff is being exceptionally helpful this year, and I’m very grateful.


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    awww – great news!

  2. Kalina
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    “I count nine in this photo but Anna assures me there are ten in the pond”

    I think they are ten – there is one just behind the mother 🙂

    • Posted May 8, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Ah, yes, I see it. Thanks!

      • Dominic
        Posted May 9, 2019 at 3:48 am | Permalink

        Kalina wins unofficial spot the duckling contest!

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Very cool!!!

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      + 1

  4. johnjfitzgerald
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    May I ask what you feed the ducks? Ingredients of the mixture? Does your duck food float on the water or sink? I have been using goose feed for some Canadian Geese chicks (goslings?). It sinks into the pond. What about defrosted frozen corn and peas? I hear that bread is bad for ducks and geese.
    Any tips on swan food? Is popcorn minus salt and butter good for ducks and geese?


    John J. Fitzgerald

  5. johnjfitzgerald
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your guidance. Appreciate the advice.

    John J. Fitzgerald

  6. Linda Calhoun
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The reason Honey wasn’t skittish last year is because it was the second year you were feeding her, and she was already used to you.

    The first year, she was skittish, too. Katie and her ducklings will calm down once they realize that you are harmless and a source of food.


  7. Linda Calhoun
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I really wish you could find someone to band these ducks, so their movements could be tracked.

    I am so curious to know if Katie is Honey’s daughter, or if it is just coincidence that she ended up in Botany Pond.

    Wild animals are sensitive to food sources, so I won’t be surprised if Honey still shows up with her brood this year.


    • Posted May 9, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      I also thought that Katie could be Honey’s daughter.

    • Posted May 9, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been wondering the same thing – Katie, possibly the daughter of Honey? Katie seems to have a little shadowy area at the corner of her bill where it meets her mouth, sorta like Honey’s dark spot. Would Honey and Katie be at odds? It’s all very fascinating.

  8. Posted May 9, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Remarkable – including how amazingly accommodating the Facilities staff are.

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