Hello! Most of my posts take place around San Diego County, (Mostly Lake Murray) unless otherwise noted.
For more posts and photos, I also post on Hubpages, a site that is a bit different than others. Thanks!: Shorebirdie on Hubpages

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stealing females and update on the ducklings

M2 was nowhere to be seen, but I could definitely hear him. I still haven't found his nest, but I know it's around and it's probably within sight of people as I hear him trilling and making frustrated calls. But, I haven't spotted it. I swear, though, I heard him calling and saw him landing in a tree! I've never heard of killdeer ever being in a tree, even for a moment. I will definitely be looking upward for him if I can't find him otherwise. This will be an interesting observation. The only reason why he might be in the tree was to keep track of "Little Male" and his own territory. But, I don't think that killdeer have the right kind of feet to hold onto a perch.

In the meantime, I see he's been harassing "Little Male" off and on, claiming part of his territory on M1's south side. M1 often can be heard calling back to him. Later, sometimes, M1 will go off and call over M2, M3 and M5s' territory probably hoping to lure females away from them. In the past, M2 would ignore M1's attempt to steal mates, but now that he has a mate of his own, he has gotten involved and has begun to chase M1 sometimes. The birds chased each other out of sight and I couldn't see the result of the fight. These things can take hours, so it's no use to wait it out.

Update on Ducklings

More ducklings are hatching and I have recently seen at least a dozen brand new ones in the last few days. However, the lake is being lowered and that has put many ducklings in risk of being snapped up by fish and turtles. So, just about all the ducklings between 10 days and 5 weeks old have been in hiding. I haven't seen the seven that I fed the cereal to since that day, but their parents are around and I assume they're hiding. I occasionally see the one duckling that hatched in M1's territory.

Today, I think I might have seen the two ducklings I call the "Drama Ducklings" because I wrote a photo essay about how one got away and got lost. They got lost two days later, but since then, their mom has been glued to their side. I haven't seen them in four days, but I thought I saw two small ducks swimming around the reeds in the "restricted area". They disappeared quickly. I went to where I could look into the reeds from across the bay and saw a small "cave" with mom and dad sitting in the front and it looked like two dark fluffballs sticking out of the reeds behind them. Mom was looking back often, either grooming herself or keeping an eye on her babies. But, I couldn't totally verify if there were really two ducklings there as there are also small coots and grebes nearby, too.

I may not get to see them again until they fill up the lake after the road repairs, which will be in about a month. It will be good to see how many survived. I want all of them to survive because they're so cute! However, that wouldn't work very well in nature. God (or nature if you prefer) has given ducks the ability to produce lots of eggs and young so that enough will survive to keep the species going, but at the same time provide food for other organisms as much as I don't like to think about it.

The "Drama Ducklings" at 10 days old, the last time I saw them

No comments:

Post a Comment