Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

DUCK!

Flying_mallard_duck_-_femaleM’hijito came by this afternoon with Charley the Golden Retriever. We hiked in the mountain preserve and then came back to the Funny Farm and hung out. While he was here, Ruby and Charley got into the pool area and started frolicking around.

Straightaway, Ruby started snurfling and digging around under the cat’s claw. M’hijito went to inquire and found, lo! THE DUCK’S NEST!

She’s made a nest right next to the pool, in under the tangle of jungle vines that is the aged cat’s claw mound. There were no eggs in it, and so we figured my efforts to chase her away worked. I haven’t seen  her for a week or ten days.

Well.

No. Just now I went out there to pick up some of the junk that’s blown into the pool, and what should I see all snuggled under the foliage but DUCK!

Yup. There she is.

She’s so cute and pretty and sweet on her nest. The wind is howling around, junk is flying through the air and crashing into the pool. And I can not bring myself to scare her off or sic the pup on her.

So I guess we have a tame duck out there. Before long, we’ll have about half-a-dozen ducklings, no doubt.

Wonder if there’s some sort of covering I could cut to fit and lay over the KoolDeck alongside her new home, so she doesn’t wreck that porous stuff? It would have to be heavy enough to stay put and not slippery under foot, because I have to go back and forth along that narrow ledge to care for the pool. I probably can secure it with rocks and bricks. Hm.

She’s a very beautiful little bird. And weirdly, she doesn’t seem to be even faintly afraid of humans, even after I’ve squirted her with water and tossed a beach ball at her.

Pet duck. Just what I’ve always needed. 🙄

Author: funny

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14 Comments

  1. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

    How absolutely adorable.

  2. Pretty cool….A looong time ago was on vacation at Wilderness Lodge in Disney World . DD’s and I got up early to go into the pool. We were in the pool talking and along comes a mother duck and her ducklings who get in the water with us. They swam around and the curious ducklings would get close but not too close. You’re gonna love when the babies come….

  3. I’m concerned about how tiny ducklings will get out of the water, once they plop in there. The coping is rounded & it’s a distance above the surface of the water.

    Keeping the pool very full would shorten that distance, but unless they can use their little wings to get themselves up out of the water about six or eight inches, I’m afraid they’ll be trapped once they get into the pool. I’d have to swim to reach them, and I expect a duck can swim faster than I can… Hmmm…

    Maybe a floating mat that they can climb on? When the pump is on, it’ll push the mat over to the edge eventually. They make a solid foam mat that isn’t inflatable, so they couldn’t damage it with duck claws. Well, they could, but it wouldn’t sink.

  4. Well the baby ducks at Disney had no problem exiting. They approached the step and in one motion jumped, flapped their wings and leaned forward. They were on a dry step and then out they walked. They had come so often to the pool their legs and feet were lighter because of the chlorine. My kids still talk about “that morning …. at Disney….with the ducklings”….

    • Ohhh the incredible cuteness of duck being!

      I wonder how old they were… I mean, if they’re very tiny they might have a problem in their first swim outing. But a week later, they could be fine.

      I’ll have to keep an eye on them.

      Put some corn and some chopped up salad greens out for Duck, but so far she’s not … uhm … biting. It may be that when you’re laying eggs you have no taste for anything other than chocolate and red wine. I don’t know. It’s raining. I hope she’ll be OK.

  5. This is absolutely hilarious. Not long ago you were driving the ducks away with pitchforks and imprecations. Now you’re trying to come up with food to match her pregnant “cravings” and also planning to help raise the children. Or at least teach them water safety.

    Ah, the maternal instinct, it never dies, just lies dormant for awhile.

    • Ha ha! Yes, the same thought occurred to me: I must have slipped my trolley!

      But when I looked at her on her nest my heart melted. She’s so lovely.

      Yesterday and again last night it poured and poured and POURED. And it’s actually almost cold outside this morning. Poor little bird. I hope she’ll be all right.

  6. Don’t they, uh, MESS UP the pool? Or does the pool cleaner* take care of that?
    *Initially I typed “poo cleaner.” Ahem.

    • Yeah, they can make a mess. But so far she’s only defiled the pool once. A good dose of chlorine shock treatment bleached it right out of the plaster.

      Obviously, one would have to backwash fairly often. BUT…one should backwash a great deal more often than I normally do.

      Right now she’s glued to her nest. I’ve not seen her come off the nest or leave the nest vacant even once. Don’t know how she’s eating and don’t know how she’s getting water. I read on a birder’s site the ducks can eat things like defrosted frozen corn, so put a handful down. Not interested. I figure tomorrow I’ll call game & fish or one of the universities and ask if anyone knows their habits when they’re brooding over their eggs. You’d think the male would show up and deliver some carry-out…but never once have I seen a male anywhere near her.

      Could be the coyote caught him, I guess.

  7. Ducks and ducklings are so cute! It’s no wonder you’ve changed your tune and are now trying to protect the momma. If you haven’t seen the PBS Nature documentary (or “duckumentary” as they call it) do watch it because it’s fabulous and shows just how tough those little ducklings can be. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/an-original-duckumentary-full-episode/8068/

    If momma ducks are anything like broody hens (and I’m sure there are some similarities), I wouldn’t worry that she’s ignoring your offerings of food. Broodies only leave the nest perhaps once a day for water, elimination, and some food. They need to keep the eggs at a fairly consistent temperature for proper development/incubation. Eggs that aren’t kept within that temperature range either don’t develop into ducklings at all, or will have developmental issues such as malformations, etc. The first few days/week are critical for development, so expect her to be very vigilant about incubating for now. The males do not sit on the nest at all.

    If she does start showing interest in food then it would be good to add a bit of protein to that ration. Ducks usually eat things like snails, slugs, and insects, but you could just leave her a bit of cooked egg. 😉

    I hope you do get to enjoy some ducklings in your yard. They are so damned cute!

    • Hmmm… Well, that backyard is OVERRUN with slugs. They come out at night, and it’s just gross to walk around out there. If ducks eat those things, she and her babes are welcome to take up permanent residence.

      They fall in the drink all the time. Chances are they just crawl right up her…she doesn’t even have to bestir herself for a meal.

      I wonder why she hasn’t migrated north. Ducks migrate, right? Isn’t it odd that she’d stay to raise her babes where temps will reach 112 in just a few weeks?

      One page says they’ll eat grass and lettuce. As soon as I finish the first plug of work I’m supposed to be doing this morning, I may run over to the sprouts and pick up a head of lettuce that can be chopped up and sprinkled near the nest. Put it out at night, I guess, which must be when she waddles out.

      • Something I overlooked in my first read of your post was that you didn’t see any eggs when you first found the nest. I’m not sure how much time lapsed between when you spotted the empty nest and saw her sitting there, but that raises a couple other possibilities. 1) She’s on the nest all the time because she’s still laying eggs. They don’t lay more than one per day, so it could take her a while to lay a full clutch of them. Only after she’s done laying them all will the real incubation period start (which I think is around 21 days or so). 2) She hasn’t laid any eggs and never will, but she’s still being broody. If this is the case she’ll eventually give up sitting on the nest.

        Either way, as you note there are benefits to having some poultry (wild or tame) roaming your yard and cleaning up all those slugs! 😉

        Not all ducks or geese migrate north for the summer (or south for the winter, for that matter). Now that there are man-made ponds and lakes all over the place, some of them tend to stay put. Canada geese in particular were a pest in some areas around Chicago because they hung out all year ’round on man-made water features that didn’t fully freeze (due to discharge of water from various industrial or physical plant stuff that I don’t understand fully enough to elaborate.)

      • It was been a week or so between the time she was last spotted and the time we found her on the nest. I assumed she’d given up. Wrong!!

        She was VERY determined not to be chased away from the pool area. Eventually she would give up, but she did her darnedest to hang tight. I think she was about ready to start laying and didn’t want to have to find another place to build a nest.

        So…21 days…we’re probably looking at another two and a half or three weeks, at least, before ducklings emerge. If they do. 😀 Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

        Or a quack??

      • DF says that he kept ducks while living in a sluggy area. The birds were so determined to eat every land mollusk available that they’d stuff themselves until their beaks were all gummed up with slug slime. They’d have to find water, dunk their heads under and blrbrbrlrlrlbrblr back and forth until they could re-open their mouths.
        He said they were hilarious to watch.
        In “Cross Creek,” Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings has funny anecdotes about her ducks. The part that sticks with me is the birds’ obvious delight in everything they see. She says they would strut out of their pens in the morning with an attitude of, “Ahhhh! Another day of good living!”