One of the greatest benefits of living here on the pond is watching baby ducks and geese grow into adults. The grounds keepers try very hard to limit the goslings and so far this year I have only seen two clutches totaling 5 babies here at our pond. The ducks, however, so far are flourishing with a few clutches of 10+ ducklings. It is really fun to watch the hens lead the ducklings about the grounds and pond.
Something is different this year. Neither the geese nor the ducks are taking their babies to the water. In past years, especially the ducks seemed to lose almost all their babies either from the turtles in the pond or other land based critters; raccoons, foxes, or coyotes. I have seen 2 goslings on the water and I watched a hen take her 2 ducklings across the pond to the other side safely.
I have watched several of the hens take their brood down to water’s edge and let them play in the shallow water but never more than 6-12 inches from solid land. It seems that they have perhaps learned to avoid the perils of the pond. Can it be that the duck hens remember from past years losing almost all their babies on the pond?
Whatever the reason I am enjoying watching the little fellows grow as momma leads them from one source of food to another. I do have to admit that we do leave some bird feed under the feeders which brings them close up for observation.
I hope that if you live here on the reservation you can watch the babies grow also!
Thanks for listening,
The crotchety old man
Edited and approved by Linda