Wednesday, July 20, 2011

spoiled rotten duck

It's that time of year again. It starts with a bowl shape imprint in the soil of our dockside "garden". Zach saw the imprint first and came running breathlessly to announce that we were once again selected by the local female Mallards as a nesting site. The pattern goes that each night an egg is laid and by morning mom is gone and just the eggs remain. This is the pattern for about 3-4 days at which point she sits non-stop on her nest leaving only for the rare sunset swim. And there she'll sit for about 28 days.
Zach is naming this one Bandito because he says she has a mask on her face.
It's really no wonder why we have so many ducks nesting on our finger pier because the truth is we pamper our mamas to be. Bread crusts are left at her side most mornings. Zach places a dock cart across the pier when we go out with a sign he made declaring "No Dogs." And in the heat of the day we water our duck. Yes, we turn on the hose and from far enough away so she doesn't feel threatened we sprinkle a cooling rain shower on her so she may have a drink (which she does with glee) and cool off.
It's an interesting cross section between wild animal and pet. She likes it best when we pretend she's invisible, but I also know she's come to expect her crusts and water. And she showed an amazing display of mama-bear instincts when we witnessed her full on attacking a very started neighbor dog who made the grave error of sniffing in the general direction of her nest. The pooch (who is supposed to be a hunting breed, ahem) was completely startled and beaten. Go Bandito!
(Zach took this shot.)

We'll keep you posted on any sighting of ducklings which should be another 10 days or so...
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