Sunday, August 1, 2010
Older duckling in trouble!
As I was beginning to walk away, I saw one of the older ducklings (about eight or nine weeks old) struggling to get on his feet. One leg seemed to be completely pinned against his body and the other one didn't look too good. I thought I could catch him as he was totally struggling to get up and into the water, but he made it into the water and swam too far out before I could do so. His one "good" leg was totally struggling. But, otherwise, he seems healthy. I think some fishing wire got caught around both his feet. Hopefully, he can be caught and the wire removed before a predator gets him or he starves as he can't get all the food he needs unless he can walk and/or dabble.
Even though the duckling has most of his flight feathers, he still doesn't seem to be able to fly or know how, yet. I didn't see him a couple hours later, so maybe someone caught and removed the wire. At his age, he will heal fast if he's caught early enough. All the other ducks there seemed fine when I came back, but this duckling may have chosen to sleep in the water instead of on land. I didn't get a photo of him because I was more concerned about catching him than taking a photo of his suffering.
There are a lot of people at this lake who watch out for birds in this situation and try to help. I've seen at least one other duck live months with wire around his leg. It's unfortunate that such a young duck, who doesn't seem to be able to fly, yet, has to go through this.
So, if you're at Murray near the parking lot on the north side, bring your wire clippers if you catch this guy. I have posted a photo of a similar-looking duckling at the top of the blog.
"Chickeater," the juvenile seagull that I saw eating a chick a while back, was eying that lame duck. I told him to leave him alone and he proceeded to go for a swim around the area, seemingly following me around. I think he was looking for me to feed him. He went to a bunch of grebes and coots, then to Padre point where he swam around, possibly looking for bread or baby birds.
Mary was seen at the ballfield with six other adult killdeer. She seems to be the odd killdeer out. All those other killdeer are paired up, but one male seems to like her, but the other female probably won't let them pair up. She will have a better chance of getting a mate during migration season when the other killdeer in the north migrate back to the area in a couple of months.
"Beautiful Dad" (The M6 dad of Digger and Shy) was heard doing alarm calls near the benches in the closed area when a fishing boat came close to that shore.
George was seen in Alvarado Bay, I think. I saw a male resembling George in his feeding area. I couldn't see all of his breast-band, but I'm pretty sure it's him. He was very calm and let me get really close. Someone left some trash candles on the beach and I think he was hoping that was bread topped with ants. I was afraid he or the ducks would get sick, so I removed as much of it as I could. I don't think any of them will accidentally ingest that and there's no young chicks or ducklings around to try and eat it.