Re: The Moment You've Been Waiting For! Mama Duck Photo!

#23
 * * * WOOT WOOT! * * * IMPORTANT BABIEEZ UPDATE! * * *WOOT WOOT! * * * 

The baby bunnies are born! There are at least two of them running around that I saw living under the woodpile in the back yard, but I am sure there are more. I think there is another mama bunny with her nest under the hedges, and most nests have at least four baby bunnies in them. 

So! Woot woot indeed! ❤🐰😻🐰❤

I made them some peanut butter and birdseed ice cream cones for them to eat, and set them around the woodpile.  They look like this:

https%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FaCjx9Tv.jpg

You make them by covering an ice cream cone inside and out with peanut butter and then gluing the cone to the inside of a paper bowl. Then you sprinkle them and fill them with bird seed, and viola! Peanut butter ice cream cone! 

These bowls have yarn hangers built into them because technically, they're for birds (go figure.) They also have several holes drilled into the bottoms to let rain water drain out.

Last year I hung them in the trees but within hours the squirrels around here stood on the branches I'd tied them to and reeled them in like they were fishing nets, stealing the cones and taking off. The little buggers will probably find them this year to be even easier prey, since they're just sitting on the ground by the woodpile. But we will see. 

Bunnies tend to eat at dusk and dawn, where squirrels don't come out until well after the sun is up. So the bunnies might get a head start. Either way though -- 

BABY BUNNIEEZ! WOOT! WOOT!  ❤🐰😻🐰❤

Re: The Moment You've Been Waiting For! Mama Duck Photo!

#25

DrBuller Wrote: Great to hear. The more the merrier, I think they say

Yesterday, while making the Pokey Duck Pond sign, a Junco sat on a branch not five feet from me and sang its heart out to my face. 


It was very strange, I think it thought I was Snow White. But then again, Juncos are known to be Dopey. 

Oh ha. Ha ha. Ha. ❤🦆😸🐰❤

Re: The Moment You've Been Waiting For! Mama Duck Photo!

#26
POKEY DUCK POND is ON THE MAP! 

Over the weekend, my daughter and I made a sign to officially dedicate Pokey Duck Pond on Google Earth.
https%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FnmGYMoj.jpg
I have recently learned that ducks don't stick around in the nest like other birds do. Within hours after being hatched, Mama Duck will lead them away to nearby water, and she has yet to show interest in her pond. As for the ducklings, I'm a little concerned as to how they will get around the fence -- there is one small spot they could squeeze through if they find it, as I didn't have quite enough fencing to include the pond, but the rest of the perimeter is secure.

So the babies should arrive today or tomorrow. We will see where they go. I have also learned that it's very likely Mama Duck and her offspring will come back next year to nest again. 

So to that, too, we will see.

And as far as the bunnies go, the squirrels are not acting nearly as nuts around the woodpile as they had been for the past several weeks, so I think they also have left. They too, I'm sure will be back. Bunnies like to eat dandelions, and as you can see from the photos of Pokey Duck Pond, I have quite a few. 
❤🦆😻🐰❤

Re: The Moment You've Been Waiting For! Mama Duck Photo!

#33

North Wrote: One day, after I was done swimming, there was this guy playing with his pet toulouse, a canadian breed of duck. they were less than a week old i think, cutest things ever! my sister loves ducks, we used to live in an apartment complex with a pond, and she loved getting bread and feeding the ducks. :)

How wonderful that must have been to see! My oldest daughter, when she was young, had some sort of odd affinity towards all creatures great and small. When she was two years, I took her to see the horses my sister owned. Her husband stuck her in the saddle of the smaller one, some sort of dappled mare, and she sat there calm as could be while he stepped away and took photos of her. He then led her around the ring, and nothing could have been easier for them all.


Later, while standing outside, my sister's horse came up from behind to give my daughter a sniff. This horse is a black quarterhorse, and I mean, he is huge. I bent down near my daughter and quietly said, "Don't be scared, but your auntie's horse is checking you out. Turn around." She looked over her shoulder and there was this huge horse's head, literally twice as big as she, one inch away from her nose.

She thought it was the coolest thing, and giggled with delight. So did I.

Later, when she was three and four, I'd take her to the zoo and we'd get roasted corn on the cob, to eat as we sat by the lake. There are dozens of geese and ducks there, and after she'd eaten her fill of the corn, she'd walk towards the lake holding the corn cob in front of her. These geese as big as she would swarm around her, each trying to eat as much of the corn on the cob as they could. When the corn was all gone and the geese started walking away, she'd toddle back up to me, and I'd give her another cob.

One time there were these two teenage girls sitting at the picnic table next to me. When my four year old daughter came jogging back up to get another cob of corn, about a dozen geese trailed after her. Those two girls were so terrified that they jumped up on top of the table. My daughter didn't really notice, but I started laughing so hard I thought I'd die.

Another time, while camping when she was around ten, this chipmunk was insanely interested in watching her eat peanut butter on saltine crackers. So we put a little crumb on a nearby stump and watched the critter as he ate it. Later I turned away to tend to something else, and when I returned my daughter was feeding the chipmunk a peanut butter cracker right out of her hand. The little guy ate it all, then sat on his stump with his back to us, frantically smacking himself in the jowls. He had stuffed the whole cracker in there, and the peanut butter made it impossible for him to get it out.

It was very cute. Oh my gosh, did we laugh.  Another time while camping, she spend the better part of an hour trying to convinve this chickadee to sit on her finger. She came very close, as it hopped from branch to branch just out of her reach, singing like crazy at her. But it never did sit on her finger.

Maybe if she had given it a peanut butter saltine cracker. ❤🦆😻😸🐰❤

Re: The Moment You've Been Waiting For! Mama Duck Photo!

#35

OwlishIntergalactic Wrote: Your pond is adorable. I hope Pokey Duck finds it interesting.

Pokey Duck has shown zero interest in her pond. I don't even think she knows it exists. Even so, we are going to dig a hole and plant it in the ground permanently, so maybe next year she or one of her offspring might take notice. Either way, we will fill it with water lilies and maybe koi, so that will also be cool.

❤🦆😸🐰❤

Re: The Moment You've Been Waiting For! Mama Duck Photo!

#36

whoever Wrote: You might also want to add a ramp inside the pond to ensure the ducklings are able to get out. Though I rather doubt it will be very interesting in its current state to them. It looks mostly dead with nothing to eat in there yet. And too small to be a protection against predators. But perhaps enough for some small first swimming lesson?

Thank you for your great advice. The pond has a shallow platform on the end on the far side by the ramp I built leading up to it, where the water is only six inches deep. Also the two square buckets you see sitting in the shallow end are filled with cracked corn. One has the corn above the water line, and the other has it below. And though small, it is five feet wide and eight across, with both it and the entire garden where Pokey has built her nest is surrounded by a three foot high fence of chicken wire. 


The water itself looks gray because the bottom is layered with sand and river rock. The gray is a reflection of the bottom showing on the surface in the photo. Even so, and as I said to Owlish, Pokey has shown no interest in using the pond.

Maybe next year, after it's been stuck in the ground. ❤🦆😻😸🐰❤

Re: The Moment You've Been Waiting For! Mama Duck Photo!

#37
Okay! So the moment you've all been waiting for; Redux! 

The Thursday before last (eleven days ago) I went outside at the crack of dawn to look in on Pokey. The garden had already grown so thick that it was impossible to see her, save for one little spot through which you could peek to see if she was sitting on her nest. She oftentimes would leave for hours as the eggs incubated, to get a drink or a bite to eat from a nearby pond, I suppose. I couldn't see her that Thursday as I bobbed and weaved to try to see through the dense foliage.

Then suddenly, she was there! She must have been standing nearby, as she now stood directly over her nest. Not sitting on it, but standing, looking at me and acting nervous. So I think the reason why is because her eggs were hatching. I went back to look the next day, and both she and her eggs were gone, save for one egg which still remains, which I figure must be a dud. But the other four eggs look like they hatched (she had five), although it is really hard to tell because the foliage has grown so dense. 

I learned that day that ducks don't stick around in their nest like other birds typically do. A few hours after hatching, the mama duck leads them away. I can't for the life of me figure out how they got through the fence, as I'm sure baby ducks cannot fly, but there is one small space where perhaps they could have squeezed themelves through. Either way, if I had known on Thursday that they'd leave in a couple hours, I would have staked out the place in a lawn chair with my camera at the ready.

It is now impossible to see anything -- the garden is just too overgrown. Later this summer I'll have to make my way in there, after the may apples and lilies of the valley have died, and remove an Amish haybale worth of the vetch, because otherwise the darn stuff will take over the world. Perhaps then I will retrieve the tray of birdseed and water my kids set next to the nest, when everything was just tiny sprouts poking out of the soil. If that rotten egg is still in there, I will also get rid of that.  

Hopefully too, very soon, I'll dig a hole and make the pond in the garden permanent.

Now! For bunny news! Unlke ducks, which run away, my yard is crawling with baby bunnies!  There are at least three, and I figure there may be four or five, as I find them both in the back yard and in the side yard, and I don't think they are always the same bunnies. When the baby bunnies by the wood pile in back were born, these three young squirrels would run around and drive mama and daddy bunny nuts. It was very weird, as I'd watch them do it every day out the kitchen window for a couple weeks.

The squirrels mostly now stay away, but the little bunnies hop around everywhere. Here is a picture of one hanging out with his mom and dad right outside my window, eating plaintain I'd just cut from having mowed the grass. 
https%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FRFUVX3h.jpg

Ah!! Kawaii!!! ❤🦆😻🐰❤

Re: The Moment You've Been Waiting For! Mama Duck Photo!

#39
ArDeeBurger Wrote:
whoever Wrote: You might also want to add a ramp inside the pond to ensure the ducklings are able to get out. Though I rather doubt it will be very interesting in its current state to them. It looks mostly dead with nothing to eat in there yet. And too small to be a protection against predators. But perhaps enough for some small first swimming lesson?

Thank you for your great advice. The pond has a shallow platform on the end on the far side by the ramp I built leading up to it, where the water is only six inches deep.

6 inches might still be a lot compares to the size of a small duckling. (Especially as ducks have no hands and arms to pull themselves out of of the wather with)

ArDeeBurger Wrote: Also the two square buckets you see sitting in the shallow end are filled with cracked corn. One has the corn above the water line, and the other has it below.


Anyone know how good ducks are at sensing corn from a distance? I'd guess when determining whether to look close at a pond, they would most likely decide on plants. Plants can both be eaten and house insects to be eaten.

ArDeeBurger Wrote: Maybe next year, after it's been stuck in the ground.


If you want to make more garden more interesting for ducks you might want to increase the population of snails. I read ducks absolutely love fat snails. Especially snails without shells.