Friday: Duck report (with extra zoomies)

This will serve as Reader’s Wildlife today as we have a memoriam coming up for one of our long-time contributors.

All the ducks are doing well and getting quite plump (I don’t think it’s possible to overfeed a duck, and at any rate the ones who can fly still do fly). Here’s the next brood that will achieve liftoff: Anna’s eight teenagers (their wing feathers are getting larger, but aren’t yet big enough to get them aloft).

We now have five of Katie’s brood left and all nine of Daphne’s, making a total of 22 “ducklings” and 3 hens. Four of Katie’s kids have fledged and one died in mysterious circumstances.

Daphne is a great mother (they all are), and her nine are growing rapidly. Here they are foraging on the grass.

. . . and preening like their mom. I hope they all survive the heat today!

As you can see from the three photos below, they’re starting to get their big-duck feathers. The feathers start growing on the neck and on their cute stubby little wings:

Their wings are barely recognizable as wings, but it’s adorable when they flap their little stubs.

A duck in statu nascendi:

Yesterday Katie’s brood had a contagious bout of zoomies, which I was lucky enough to see. I took two short videos of this crazy behavior, which I ascribe to restlessness as well as the need to practice flying, taking off, and landing. Note the very short flight at about 1:14:

Part II. There’s a nice flight at about six seconds in, and a longer one at 0:38.



  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I think you could have a new show on animal planet. Maybe the Chicago Duck Show.

  2. DrBrydon
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I love the subzoomies. Maybe you should talk to the University about a webcam for next year?

  3. Bill Morrison
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Here is an interesting mallard duckling adoption story:

  4. rickflick
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Nothing like a splash on a hot day.

  5. Posted July 19, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    That’s a relief – I thought the title said “with extra zombies” at first.

  6. Glenda Palmer
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Appreciate the duck update. Really enjoyed the closeups of the beginning of adult feathers. Lovely.

  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I love watching the ducks do zoomies. Heretofore, I didn’t know that such behavior had a name. It’s almost exclusively attributed to dogs but I’ve seen cats behave this way and read that pigs get the zoomies, too, surely more mammals get the zoomies. I think that squirrels have the zoomies most of the time. There must be many more.

    These videos of the ducklings document that mallards get the zoomies, too. I came across a very funny video of baby ostritches running around but mostly dancing like whirling dervishes. How many different kinds of birds get the zoomies?

    I wonder if animals besides mammals and birds get the zoomies — reptiles? amphibians? Fish and other sea life? How many different kinds of animal get the zoomies. I don’t think that sessile animals could.
    After watching the Mevlevi dervishes, I’m inclined to call this behavior a type of human zoomies. I think that children get them, too.

    • Posted July 19, 2019 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Well, there’s the moonwalking Manakin that does the zoomies in its own inimitable way.

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 19, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I read that some cats and dogs do zoomies after they defecate. Same for some of the baby ostriches,as can be seen, but defecation alone can’t be responsible for all of this behavior.

    Sure glad I don’t get the zoomies after shitting.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 19, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Or while shitting. 😎

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted July 19, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        Perish the thought. That’s for the birds.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 19, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          I think I have actual footage of that.

  9. Posted July 19, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Chuckle… Jerry just called the ducklings ‘kids’.

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