I think I may have found the family of ducks that the seagulls were trying to get a few weeks back. These ducklings are the oldest ducklings on the lake right now and they were found more than 2 miles away from the nest site in the drainage ditch doing just fine. Unfortunately, two of them didn't make it. I think those are the two that were wandering far away from mom, one of which was picked up by the gulls.
|I think this is mama's little weakling|
The thing is, the mom's bill looks entirely different. It has most of the same markings, but is a totally different color. I'm wondering if something's going on in the canal or the lake as many of the females have this bluish tint on their bill. I'm mostly certain that this is the right mother as there are no other duck families older or the same age as these:
She was last seen crossing the parking lot and moving towards the north end of the lake before they were seen today.
These wood ducks were keeping her company. I am not sure where the baby wood ducks went to. I originally went to this canal to see if I can find the mother with 8 ducklings up there. I suspect that they're 8 wood ducks that I saw a couple weeks ago.
Unfortunately, the little rouen duckling is no more. He made it to 14 days old, which is pretty good for this mother duck. Here is his feisty sibling, now about 16-17 days old and very large for his age. He makes sure his mom pays attention to him, but sometimes he gets distracted when he finds food, making him more vulnerable.
RIP newly hatched baby duck:
Here are five baby ducks I saw in Alvarado Bay near the Heron's nest. Just before I saw this, I noticed a raven go to shore and I immediately thought about ducklings because the raven didn't look like it was going to get a drink. I didn't see any females in the area, so I didn't think there were any ducklings around there. Then, snatched something and I could see it was a duckling, though it looked like a piece of bread at first. The duckling appeared to be dead and could have already been dead when the raven found it. The rest of the ducklings were on the other side of a berm out of sight. It's also possible the raven killed it earlier and put it there to pick it up later.
Poor little guy, all that was left was his empty bowels and some fuzz. I hope it was already dead when the raven found it. The Cooper's hawk was also in the area at the time. The ravens didn't bother any of the other ducklings while I was there. They have a brood of three that they are trying to feed.
Also seen today, Bossy duck! Poor guy was getting picked on by Big Daddy, the Saxony hybrid:
We now have two ring-necked ducks on the lake. Here is #1, possibly a male:
Here is #2, a female:
Here is a black-necked stilt I saw visiting today. Unfortunately, it flew off before I could get a picture of it and eventually disappeared.
I think it might be a juvenile or female:
Also seen today: Baby Bob! She's supposed to go northeast to breed, but perhaps she will sit it out this year being her first.