Category Archives: ducklings

On Golden Pond: A handful of intrepid mallards remain

Of the twenty-odd ducks that frequented Botany Pond a week ago, we’re now down to a handful. One of them, though, may be Honey. Our Secret Duck Farmer reported from Botany Pond yesterday evening (report indented): Four ducks this evening. The pond is lovely in the snow, and I think one of the females was […]

The ducks are leaving

Right before I left Chicago, and for a few days thereafter, we had up to two dozen ducks coming for lunch and dinner. That’s over now, as there has already been light snow in Chicago and the ducks have dwindled down to a precious few. Here’s today’s report from one Secret Duck Farmer: Breakfast. No […]

Monday: Duck report

Although I have a few batches of wildlife photos left (and I remind you to please send me your good ones), it’s time for a duck report from Botany Pond. Most of the ducks have fledged now and left the pond for good; we take pride that of the 28 hatched, 27 survived (one died […]

Sunday: Duck report

My reserve of readers’ wildlife photos is rather low (send them in, please), and so today I’m featuring a Duck Update, with pictures taken September 6 and 7. Only a few ducks remain.  Honey and her huge drake swain Ritz come and go, but have been here for the past three days. Daphne is here, […]

Proprietor’s wildlife: Sunday duck report

This post should bring us pretty much up to date on the Botany Pond ducks.  We have one addition to the pond: a handicapped duck has arrived. It’s a hen, and while she can apparently walk and fly well, and eats normally, she can’t swim very well, and paddles frantically when in the water, with […]

Thursday: Duck report

I’m catching up with duck reports, and have at least three to go. As summer wanes, and the Duck Days dwindle down to a precious few, I have bittersweet feelings. I’m proud that my two co-duck-farmers and I raised 29 out of 30 ducklings, and from three separate broods. Further, they’re all healthy and will […]

More proof that Katie = Honey

The bill picture this morning was dispositive: the mallard hen we’ve called “Katie” all summer is certainly Honey, my favorite duck who bred here the last two years. She was gone this morning, but returned this afternoon in the company of the large and handsome drake Ritz Quacker. Here are the pair this afternoon, along […]

Katie is really Honey! She returned!

UPDATE: I’m told by one of my fellow duck farmers that Honey nested on the second floor ledge of the “Botany Building” (now Erman) last year and the year before, and “Katie” (really Honey) nested on the third floor ledge this year. So not only does she come back to the same pond to breed, […]

Mallards can play dead when caught

As I’ve discovered in the last few years, mallards have far more complex behaviors than the casual duck-watcher thinks. For example, they can play dead when caught.  Here are two examples: This one runs away after a d*g picks it up by the neck and puts it down: And here’s a fascinating paper, though I […]

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 […]