Thursday, April 28, 2011
The last little duckling and some stolen ducklings
There is only one duckling left of the original 11 that is still with the mama. My favorite, yellowish one and the one that was sick the last time I saw it, have passed on. Both of them seemed tired and sluggish when I last saw them. I think the mom wasn't getting them out of the water enough and they either drowned or weren't strong enough to get away from predators. This one was resting all morning. I hope he makes it.
But, on the positive side, I found five of the six stolen ducklings all kidnapped by Ducky's mom. They seem a little on the small side, but I'm sure these are them as they have some of the same markings of the ones that disappeared. I didn't get any real good pictures today to confirm it 100%, but I'm pretty positive that these are the tired duckling's siblings:
And, here's four of the ten that the Canada gander tried to kill last Saturday. They're doing well, though a seagull tried to get them and they were hanging out right under the herons' nest. There is also one extremely disobedient duckling in this group that might not make it if it doesn't straighten up:
All four of the Beautiful Dad's male chicks are doing great and are very adventurous. I was able to walk up on them because they wandered out of mom and dad's sight. At first, I didn't even think their parents were around, which isn't unusual for chicks this age. But, the parents finally saw me and got upset. Then, the chicks went and hid. Unlike the last time, the parents weren't as calm as they were that day and I couldn't take my time taking photos.
Mom gives me a dirty look:
Some of the little chickies:
The Cooper's hawk was hunting right above them and grackles were chasing each other around only a few feet from the chicks. It's amazing that they're still around.
Oreo is still missing. Her posse is waiting for her in this one area where she was hanging out for the last couple of weeks. At one time, it appeared that her friends were "chatting" with someone through the reeds. Even Bigboi is hanging out more in this area. Hopefully, she is in there somewhere on a nest. I remember seeing some black and white feathers around, but I can't tell if it's hers.