From my windows on the world and the pond I have watched Mother Nature do sad things and wondrous things. The geese that at times seem to take over the reservation have always seemed to propagate at will. Even with the groundskeepers trying to eliminate hatchable eggs. Last year there were many, more than I could count. Probably30 to 40 goslings make it to adult hood but this year, due to the grounds keepers finding nest and spraying the eggs with oil, the goose population has only been increased by maybe a dozen.
Ducks on the other hand had a really bad year in 2017. There were ducklings everywhere. It was so sad to watch the hens bring their ducklings out when they hatched and take them to the pond. A nest of 10 to 12 ducklings by the next morning would be down to maybe 2 or 3. Turtles’ gotta eat too! It was terribly sad to watch the little ducks disappear. Every morning there would be fewer ducklings and still mother duck took them to the water. With all the hatchlings that I saw maybe 40 or 50 there were probably no more than a dozen that survived to adult hood.
This year Mother Nature changed her ways and it has been great fun to watch the baby ducks grow. I think I only saw one mother take her babies to the water. The rest of the hens would take the babies to the edge of the pond and that was it. The mothers would stand guard like a trooper. She would never let the ducklings get more that 6 inches from the water’s edge. I know we lost several ducklings but the survival rate was astounding!
We have fed birds for years and have enjoyed watching them feed. The 1st couple of years we lived here we put out bird seed and nothing happened. But, beginning on the 3rd year the birds started to find the feeders and eventually passed the word because we now have lots of birds. They have even begun to nest in our bushes and trees. Must have at least a dozen nests in the shrubbery in front of the house.
Now, have I mentioned how messy birds are? Well, they are really messy. I set at the desk here and watch them eat and it seem like for very seed they eat they scatter 2 or 3 seeds on the ground. When we fed the birds in the country every spring I would have to shovel the spoiled seed under the feeders. Here at the reservation the ducks and ducklings keep the ground under the feeders almost as clean as a pin. Every day at least 20 almost mature ducklings come to the house and clean up after the birds. There are very few sprouts from the bird seeds. The ducks do a great job cleaning up.
It seems that Mother Nature balances things out over time; Never too many but always enough to maintain a wonderful balance of nature.
Thanks for listening,
The Crotchety Old Man Edited and approved by Linda