You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use this title!
Here’s what went down yesterday. Every morning about about 6:00 I check on the ducks and open the coop so they can forage in the yard and play in their pool. I did this yesterday and they were fine. I went upstairs to finish my coffee and chill. Later Jim and I got ready to escort them to the lake again, but as we were getting them out of the yard we realized two of them were missing.
The female wood duck and “Blackie” the Mallard/American Black Duck hybrid were gone. Oh well. What could we do? We walked the remaining three ducks to the lake and stuck around for a while to see if the other two would see them and join them. Nothing happened for about 30 minutes, so we started to walk back home. Lo & behold, just as we were heading back up the street, Blackie swoops over our heads, flying toward the lake like a professional stunt duck.
Somehow Jim managed to capture her in flight.
She landed with a thud and a double somersault in the grass, unhurt but embarrassed. (we didn’t laugh too much) She dusted herself off and waddled over to her buddies. We were sad that one of the wood ducks remained missing but we walked home and the ducks remained near, (but not in) the water.
I spent the rest of the morning a little proud that we had mostly completed our mission, but a little sad that one of our little wood ducks was gone. I decided to take some food to them in case they were missing their regular breakfast of duck chow. I saw the four of them by the waters edge. They were trying to get close to the beautiful white heron (or egret, not quite sure what he is).
Are you a movie star? Can I have your autograph?
The egret waded into the lake AND MY DUCKS FOLLOWED HIM!!! In no time they were swimming and snacking on pond weeds and having a jolly time!
Three other Waters ducks swam up and introduced themselves. My heart was happy. I turned to walk back home and what to I see on the far side of the lake?!?!?
I’m lost. Can you help me find my family?
I sure can girlfriend! I herded her toward the others and since I was by myself it took a long time. But eventually…
I cried happy tears. These guys drove me nuts for two months and I couldn’t WAIT to get rid of them, but I have to admit I was a bit sad to see them on their own. I’m really glad I did this, but I won’t ever do it again. I found out about one month into my duck experience that I was in violation of all kinds of Alabama wildlife regulations. I could have faced a huge fine and even jail time if someone had turned me in. Next spring, when you find a lone baby duck, please just put it in the water as close to other ducks as possible and just say a prayer for his safety. The duck lady has retired. Jim would be pretty mad if I went to jail. Who would clean the litter box?
Thanks to all who kept up with this craziness. It was joy to write about such funny creatures. BTW, I check on them this morning and brought them some food. All five were splashing away happily. They ignored the food and me. 😦
Life is good.