I don't get out much...

...but I like it that way. And keeping an eye on the ducklings outside my dining room window is a terrific study for me. I don't profess to ever be a duck expert, but I can tell you now that ducks and humans have very similar traits, if you look hard enough.

The ducklings this spring showed up in this order:
  • Mom(1) and Dad with 6, that are now only 3
  • Mom(2) and Dad with 3, that are now 2
  • Mom(3) with 10, that are now 9
  • Mom(4) and Dad with 3, that are now 2
  • Mom(5) with 11, all still here
  • Mom(6) with 8, all still here
The first 6 were down to 5 within a few days and then I noticed that the babies would come alone with the parents following--it definitely reminded me of alcoholic parents, where the parents and children exchange roles. After only a week or so, Mom and Dad only showed up sporatically to feed. Sometimes, they all would all trot off together, but the babies would inevitably come back alone. When the babies were at the pond, it was obvious that they were outcasts.

Babies of Mom2 and Mom4 were abandoned when they were about a week old. [Guess I was off the mark thinking Mom2 was going to be attentive.] They would hang around, at a distance, to the Mom3, but spend some nights huddled together here at the pond.
Curiously, the male ducks would always run Mom4 away, much to my dismay. Mom and Dad's compromise would be to stay at the front of the house while the little ones would make their own way to the pond and back

The good news for all the orphans is that Mom3 eventually took them in and they are one HUGE family!! So, of course, I make sure they all get special attention--even when they make their way to the back door to beg for food!

I'm very proud of Mom5 and Mom6 who have succeeded in keeping the whole family intact. They must have some great hiding spaces for sleeping because they have only ever spent a night or two on the side of the pond.

Needless to say, it gets a bit loud and splashy when all 35 ducklings show up. And, with them all quacking and diving and molting and finding their wings, it's quite good entertainment!

By Christmas, they will all be gone and it will be quiet, once more.

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