Now there are ten. . .

The Big Leap happened this morning. Early in the morning there were two ducklings in the pond, with no sign of mom, and I heard peeping from the windowsill above. I knew, then, that there was a larger brood on the way. About a half an hour ago (I didn’t see it), they jumped, and now there are ten ducklings in the water. The mom and brood are skittish, so I’m leaving them alone for the time being.

Ten, of course, was the size of Honey’s brood last year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that most of these will make it. To do that, they’ll need to become a bit tamer and accept food from me. I’ve loaded up both duck islands with corn, mealworms, and duckling chow, so maybe they’ll find them.

Wish us luck! It’s giong to be a long summer. And, frankly, I’m quite anxious about the new mother befriending me so that I can feed her and her family. Last year we lost two out of the ten, and every lost duckling is like an arrow in my heart.

26 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Beautiful!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    “About a half an hour ago (I didn’t see it), they jumped, and now there are ten ducklings in the water”

    I can’t help but point out the Zen (is it) nature of this – I think there was a similar statement on yesterday’s (or the day before’s) single duckling update.

    • Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure what you mean. What similar statement.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        that old idea – if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, did it make a noise. so … I guess… if some ducklings fall from a precipice and nobody is around to see it, did they fall? Answer : yes of course.

        as for “I think there was a similar statement”, I couldn’t find it where I thought it was, so I think my memory was jostled by reading “the Dude abides” in a duckling report – especially since PCC(E) didn’t care for The Big Lebowski.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        upon further thought

        I think the equvalent Zen-like koan would be :

        if ten ducklings appear in a pond, and nobody is around to see them leave their nest from high above, did they all fall?

        • Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          … or were they pushed?! We need a Ducktective…

        • Posted May 8, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          I thought of Basho–

          Ancient pond
          Duckling jumps in
          Plop

  3. Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I am visiting Chicago for the first time. Arrived yesterday afternoon (O’Hare – aaaghhh, zig zagging customs and immigration line for what seemed forever). I have Cubs tickets for tomorrow and am hoping the rain holds off. Having successfully sold that one to my wife, I should be able to make a case to visit a duckpond in the suburbs now there are cute ducklings 🙂

    • Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      We’re not really in the suburbs, but part of Chicago; you can take the Metra Electric train from downtown to 57th street (or the #6 bus to 57th Street and Stony Island), and you’re just a ten-minute walk from the ducklings.

      • Posted May 14, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        For the record: Finally getting around to documenting the fact that my wife and I did visit the ducklings, on a beautiful spring Friday morning in Chicago. The ducklings (in fact the whole family) were very cute, exactly as advertised. We even met Jerry who was very nice, and gave us local tourism hints.

  4. ladyatheist
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Mama is a fine looking lady!

  5. Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the directions. We are here until Sunday, it’s very likely we will take the trip. I’ll be sure to add a comment to a duck post with our impressions.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Looks like game on. Did not think we would see tourism to urban Chicago to see baby ducks but there it is. Busy time indeed.

  7. Roo
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Aaaa! That’s wonderful!

  8. Cate Plys
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Say, it’s too bad Honey didn’t return this year, but the new mom needs a name! Maybe she has one already and I missed it.

  9. Petu W.
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Here’s a wonderful clip from Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE). A female duck has nested in the same balcony, fifth floor, for several years. The city is Turku, southern Finland. Every spring the owner helps the ducklings out; the mother waits and leads her offspring to the river.

    https://areena.yle.fi/1-2858470

    • Hempenstein
      Posted May 8, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Fond memories of a visit to Turku many yrs ago. The castle was great (just as great that it was restored after WWII) and my daughter took her first successful steps of any distance on a long and nearly-deserted (since it was in Feb) hallway of the ferry getting there from Stockholm).

  10. Posted May 8, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! A Granddad again!

  11. rickflick
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    “…every lost duckling is like an arrow in my heart.”
    The words of a true naturalist.

  12. Mark R.
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Congrats, and good luck Professor Duck Whisperer. Nothing wrong with a new moniker I suppose. 🙂

  13. Posted May 8, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful photos! But I am confused. Is this Honey or the other hen who was photographed before with a single heir?

    • Posted May 8, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      This is definitely not Honey. It’s the hen with a single heir, who had more heirs hatch this morning!

      I don’t know where Honey is.

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted May 8, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        It’s possible that Honey has not hatched her clutch yet, and will still show up with ducklings, at which point you will be inundated.

        L

        • Posted May 9, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

          I worry about that as a Honey-like hen visited the pond yesterday. I’m not sure two broods could coexist in the pond!

  14. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I can’t stop thinking about Bill Withers.

  15. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    What lovely pics! I suspect this is Honey’s daughter from last year. You and she developed quite a relationship last year, especially after the boys left. You always made a special effort for her when her brothers gave her a hard time. She will see Botany Pond as a place to return to imo.

    And Honey is probably still sitting on her eggs given that Gregory Peck is still hanging around and appears to be keeping the place safe for her.


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