Wild Matters

I love ducks and chickens. Were things different in my life, I would have chickens for eggs and ducks to keep snails out of my yard. But with my attempt to downsize, these options are just not open to me.

Luckily, I live in San Diego. I can go to the San Diego Zoo and watch the jungle fowl families running around in the vegetation. The chicks are so adorable, and the roosters might do a little courtship display or territorial face-offs. The hens are the plain woman behind the successful man type. I love them all.

Featured image  Yes, dear.

Ducks can be seen in the wild around here, mallards mostly. I have been known to stop and watch them flying overhead. I need a sign that says I brake for migration fly-bys. I can stare for hours at a flood control channel. The drakes compete for hens, and once the girl makes her choice, they stay pair bonded for the breeding and the laying of the eggs.  Then Ms. Duck is on her own to raise the clutch, and possibly be ravished by a lone male duck.

Featured image  So, are you busy tonight?

Right now there’s lots of ducklings at a local lake where I walk a few times per week. The little fuzzy darlings are awesome to watch, and they grow up really quickly. There’s a lot to learn from these brave little guys.

Facebook has been swamped with YouTube videos of people rescuing baby ducks from sewers or helping them down from a building ledge. I love those, and always watch them even if I have seen the video a million times. What can I say, I love little fuzzy things. I only wish soot sprites were real.

Featured image  Where’s Elwood?

At my local lake, I noticed a few odd ducks, so to speak. One is a female of white and brown feathers hanging around with a mallard drake. Obviously she is part domestic white duck. I would love to see her duckings some time.

The most eye-catching ducks have beautiful blue bills. Thanks to my husband’s Google-fu, he looked a a picture I took with my phone and confirmed it to be a ruddy duck. I have never seen them in this area, so it’s a delightful discovery.

Featured image  Ruddy duck thinking ruddy thoughts.

There’s at least one cormorant hanging out with the ducks. No real idea if it’s male or female, and never observed chicks at the lake. There are a ton of coots, and they have cootlings right now. I loved seeing a hen bringing a type of lake weed to her babies and showing them that it’s good to eat.

Featured image  You’ll eat your weeds an you’ll like them!

My friends and family know how much I love anything with feathers. They learn to put up with me pointing, stopping, and staring. Now and then, they even learn to appreciate wild birds for their own enjoyment.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Thursday.


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