Male mallard duck on a lawn, close up

Donald, on Guard (click to enlarge)

Earlier this week I introduced you to our friends Donald and Daisy Mallard (click here if you missed that post).

As promised, here are two more photos of the lovely couple during one of their exploratory waddles around our yard, and an update on their comings and goings.

You’ll notice that Donald is vigilant, while Daisy’s focus in on the ground, searching out all potential edibles. I took the photos from inside the house, where I was cheering her on – the more slugs she swallows, the better our garden veggies will fare!

Female mallard on lawn, looking for slugs or other edibles.

Daisy, on Slug Patrol (click to enlarge)

Donald hasn’t been back since the day I took these photos. Daisy has come on her own a few times but her visits have been very brief – a fast trot and gobble, a very brief bath in the pond, a quick shake-off on the bank, then she’s flown off into the woods.

What this means is that ducklings might be on the way again this year. According to my bird reference books, during the time that female mallards incubate their eggs, the males gather elsewhere, to go through their annual molt. So Donald is perhaps at the big pond a quarter mile or so up the road, hanging out with the guys and looking a bit scruffy – while Daisy’s in a big hurry to get back to the nest, which is presumably somewhere in our woods.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed and eyes peeled for some fluffy little bundles.

UPDATE, April 29: The ducklings have arrived! No photo, alas, but we spotted half a dozen little fluffballs early this morning with Daisy, having a brief paddle about the pond before waddling off, back into the woods. If the experience of previous years holds true, we won’t see them again – one sighting only has been the rule each year. Nevertheless, we’re thrilled!  

In other (unrelated) news: I have a guest blog post & new photo on the Gabriolan.ca site. Please hop over and have a look – you’ll find it here.

 

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer and writer focusing on nature and the environment

10 responses »

  1. Your Mallards look quite a bit different from Michigan’s. If you place this happy couple in our millpond, they would really stand out from the others. The patterns on the hen are different and the body of the drake looks rounder. Maybe it’s because they have so much vegetation in your wonderful region. Love the story!

    • Thanks Doug! It’s been interesting seeing them each spring – at least we think it’s the same couple each year! I’m not sure what they find to eat in our pond…I do hope it’s not the frogs and newts…that they prefer a vegetarian diet!

  2. Sherry Galey says:

    Ducklings! I guess that makes you grandparents…Congratulations! I also just read your piece in the Gabriolan. Nice! Hope the show went well.

  3. Phil Lanoue says:

    Cute couple for sure!

  4. Deb says:

    My 2 year old loved your pictures and now pretending he is a ducky and quacking! Thanks for the post.

  5. Marie says:

    Laurie, your posts are a welcome respite in a busy world. Thanks a bunch!

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