Monday, August 5, 2013

Adventures with Ducks

 Well, the ducks are now 13 weeks old! Their personalities are starting to show in interesting ways & they are getting a feel for what life will be like for them in our little 'Duck-topia'.

Some mornings they are full of beans & want nothing more than to run around the whole yard. We like to strategically place water basins around for them to use & when they see one being filled, they come running!! Some times they manage a bit of flight time along this run!
They went through a molt over the last couple of weeks which brought out more adult feathers (hence the power of flight) & they like to show off their wings to us, especially in the mornings when they are let out of their house.

 We are now a bit more confident in allowing them their 'free range' time since they are developing their wing muscles - should a predator come along, they have a better chance of escape to under a shrub, back to either their enclosure, or even just freaking out & finding us!

 Communication with the ducks is becoming stronger too. They respond to our whistles (they'll quack quite loudly to let us know where they are when we whistle!) &  we are working on a call. Nothing fancy - 'duck-duck' usually works to get them moving. Duck Rogers will usually lead the girls out & down the path to the front yard in single file.

It's quite funny to watch them waddle along, looking around & squeaking to each other if they see something new or interesting. The cool thing this week is that Duck Rogers has got his 'boy quack'! We thought he would have this strange 'squook' noise but it's developed into a definite 'boy duck' quack. He sounds like a wild duck versus the ear splitting quacks that explode from the girls!

I have the feeling that this week the ducks went through a few traumatic experiences that has given us all a bit of education into 'yard security'.

They have been pretty skittish & 'clingy' (if a duck trio can be that with their humans...) & I have the feeling that they had a couple Eagle Scares this week.

We leave their gate open when we are home - this allows them the option of running around with us when we are outside or coming & going at their own choosing. Lately, when we get home, we just open the gate & let them do their thing - they've got a couple really good foraging areas that have shelter for them to hide under, but the Eagles may have freaked them out. Now is the time of year that the salmon are running & we have resident Eagles in the large trees all around our 'block'. I noticed the other day that a couple of them were conducting low altitude fly-bys & I immediately checked on the kids - who were already in their enclosure (which has a full covering of bright orange commercial fish net over it now thanks to last weeks' renovation). Safe & secure, but freaked right out.

Then just yesterday, while the hubby was constructing a new bridge at one of our entrances, a DOG sneaked past him & ran right by him through the open gate & into the yard right for the ducks!! Freak out!! Well, the hubby freaked out more than the ducks & I'm really glad I was inside cooking dinner, or else said Pooch & Pooch's owners might not have left our neighbourhood in very happy spirits. (Boots & butts & fowl language). So, when the ducks are clingy after all that, I don't mind too much. Takes me away from cleaning the house.

So, speaking of clingy ducks - I think today they are in much better spirits because each time I check on them, they are in a new part of the yard they've not been in before (or flower bed....) so I just might have to put them back in their enclosure til I'm done my indoor chores... Sweet Pea is the one who leads them into new areas initially... should rename her 'Sneaky Pea'...

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