Host’s wildlife: Sunday duck report

I’m woefully behind on my duck reports (you’ve all missed them, right?), as it’s hard to feed all those ducks and take pictures at the same time. Fortunately, we’re now down to 12: Daphne (who is flightless because she’s molting) and her brood of nine (who are flightless but on the verge of flying), as well as Anna, who’s hanging around, and one other duck, a flying offspring of either Katie or Anna (it could be Katie herself, but I haven’t gotten a close look). Remember, the first brood was Katie’s (10, with one dying as a subadult and the rest fledging), the second was Anna’s (eight, all survived and most have flown), and then Daphne’s (nine, all still here and ready to fly in a few days).

Here are some pictures and videos from August 4, making me two weeks behind. I’ll catch up soon.

Two weeks ago there were two full broods in the pond: Anna’s and Daphne’s. Katie was still here, and some of her offspring came and went. In this video you can see the two broods and, I think, one of Katie’s offspring.

Here’s Anna, instantly identifiable by her long, slender neck:

Anna is very svelte, like a mallard ballerina:

Two of Anna’s speculum feathers, and a flight feather, collected when she was molting:

One of Anna’s ducklings:

I believe this is Katie during her molt. Notice the flight feathers growing in, but the wings aren’t yet full-sized.

A video of Daphne’s brood foraging after I tossed them duck food on the grass. They love that mud puddle! Notice that Daphne, fully feathered and not yet molting, is watching attentively. The young are growing their wing feathers.

Daphne’s brood crammed together on Duck Island South:

Daphne’s brood resting on the grass. Mom hasn’t molted yet (she has as of August 15), and she’s alert and attentive, as always:

It’s very cute when they open their beaks; it looks as if they’re smiling:

Daphne’s brood has a postprandial preen on the beach. One chubby duckling has trouble clambering out of the water:

Some shots of Anna’s brood growing up:

Their speculums appear blue rather than blue-violet, but it could have just been the light.  Here their wings haven’t yet attained full size:

Bottoms up (I’m not sure who this one is, but its wings are fully grown, which you can see by their crossing behind the tail:

Anna’s brood dabbling:

 

Daphne’s brood resting when a dragonfly comes by. They try to catch it but of course fail. One duckling quacks in frustration:

Katie and an offspring hiding under the branches. They’re very cryptic:

And back down memory lane: Katie’s brood, the first ones, in mid-May:

 

14 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Delightful update, it’s great to see the growth – I enjoy the regular Duck Times updates, but usually do not reply – I read them in email. Just saying…

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Pretty good whistlin’ at the start of the foraging vid, boss. Ever think of treating those ducklings to a couple bars from the outro to “Dock of the Bay”?

  3. Debbie Coplan
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    -wonderful way to start my Sunday with this lovely post. Thank you for the duck report!
    Always fun to see.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Pics 2, 3 & 5: 360 lateral vision, which I hadn’t appreciated before today

    PAPER [NO PAYWALL] on fields of mallard vision, including binocular.

  5. Posted August 18, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Your duck pictures made me think of “El Pato” from the wonderful children’s album “Papa’s Dream” by Los Lobos and Lalo Guerrero. Don’t let the label “children’s music” put you off; Los Lobos may lighten it up for the young ones, but they don’t dumb it down. Listen to this and try not to smile–I don’t think it can be done!

    Everybody calls me ducky, patito
    Beacuse I live in the laguna, patito
    Everybody calls me ducky, patito
    Beacuse I live in the laguna, patito

    Later when they see me coming, patito
    They say here comes the duck sin pluma, patito
    Later when they see me coming, patito
    They say here comes the duck sin pluma, patito

    Uy uy, uy uy uy, patitio
    Uy uy, uy uy uy, patitio
    Uy uy, uy uy uy, patitio
    Uy uy, uy uy uy, patitio

    Later when they see me coming, patito
    They say here comes the duck sin pluma, patito
    Later when they see me coming, patito
    They say here comes the duck sin pluma, patito

    A mi me llaman el pato, patito
    Porque vivo entre el cenizo, patito
    A mi me llaman el pato, patito
    Porque vivo entre el cenizo, patito

    Luego que me ven venir, patito
    Ahi viene pato cenizo, patito
    Luego que me ven venir, patito
    Ahi viene pato cenizo, patito

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    So wonderfully bucolic in the heart of the city.

  7. Lorna Salzman
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I own the first edition of Lolita…bought in Rome in 1957. But my father in law later bound it in vinyl (ugh) to preserve it so its value was reduced. I once saw it advertised for $35,000. I took some courses with Nabokov at Cornell around 1953 or so. I think $4,000 is a bargain though I’d sell mine for a lot more. But I do have some sentimental feelings about it.

  8. Glenda Palmer
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks to your support the survival rate at Botany Pond is way above the normal rates I have seen along the pond behind my home. I am in a mid-sized city so these are not in the wilderness either but I would guess a 50% survival on average. Your duck food shopping is winding down for another year but I am already looking forward to next year’s ducky adventures with PCC on the pond.

  9. Posted August 18, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Anna is very svelte, like a mallard ballerina:

    When can we expect a performance of “Duck Lake”?

  10. Bruce E Lyon
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The duck island group portrait looks like a painting, in a good way. What fun following these families.

  11. Posted August 18, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I have to go out on a limb here and say that Katie looks like Honey. Look closely!

    Wonderfully uplifting post, btw, Jerry. Thanks!

  12. Posted August 19, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Purple!


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: