Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DUCKS!! :)

If you've been around my blog for a while you know that every spring there is some excitement when the ducks show up in our neighborhood.

I have absolutely no idea why, because there are no ponds or any significant water source on our street or anything, but every March mallard ducks invade our street. They come in two's, always a male and a female (I think I read that ducks mate for life) and they wander up and down our street for a few weeks and if you're lucky they'll stick around and lay eggs in your yard. When spring is over they leave and we don't see them again until the next year.

When we first moved here there used to be lots of ducks, but we've started seeing fewer and fewer over the years. This year I really haven't seen very many at all, which makes me sad.

A few years ago we started getting a duck couple that decided that they especially liked our backyard and two years in a row the female stuck around and laid eggs. The first year only four of them hatched and the next year twelve of them hatched! The next year we anxiously awaited their return and they never came. A few duck couples came that year and wandered up and down the street but none of them stayed and we never saw our little duck family again.

But every spring as soon as I see the ducks I get really excited. I think I've decided that one reason I like the ducks so much is that it signals the end of winter. I tend to get a little depressed in the winter and by the end of it I'm going a little stir crazy. The ducks show up at the same time the sun starts shining again and the spring flowers start peeking their little heads up. Once the ducks show up I know that winter is over and the sunshine is coming back into my life again. Spring always feels like a new beginning and the ducks are the first sign that it's here. I'm always ready for a new beginning this time of year.

Plus, being the crazy animal lover that I am, I just love ducks!! I love hearing the quacking sound outside, I love how they travel in two's and I LOVE duck babies!! There's pretty much nothing cuter than fuzzy baby ducks.

So it's that time of the year again, the ducks are back and I'm on my annual quest to make friends with them. If I hear quacking in my yard I stop whatever I'm doing and run out there with bread like a crazy person. :) I keep hoping I can convince them to stay and have more babies in my yard!

The last few years were not successful. I saw a few ducks in my yard but could never convince any to stay.

This year I think I just might have been successful! I don't want to get my hopes up yet, but a few days ago a pair of ducks showed up in my backyard. I went out there and fed them and they were unusually friendly right from the start. Usually you have to be really careful not to get to close because they're skittish, but this ducks don't seem to be very nervous. I fed them the first time and when I noticed them out there again later I opened my backdoor to go back out and feed them again and as soon as I opened the door they came running to me! They get really close to me and let me feed them. As long as I sit on the step and don't move towards them or anything they'll come up really close to me.

So I've been making friends with the ducks for the past few days, and now they're pretty much living in my backyard full time. They leave occasionally but they come right back and they spend a good portion of the day hanging out in the grass.

This is what the other pair of ducks did when they decided to stick around and have babies. They spend their days hanging out in my backyard for a few weeks and then the eggs started showing up. The mama duck lays one egg a day until it "feels" right to her (it's usually between 10-12), and then she starts sitting on them full time and the male duck takes off until the babies are born. I haven't seen any eggs yet but I purposely haven't looked very hard because I don't want to scare the ducks off or make them feel like their egg hiding place isn't safe. So I don't know if there are eggs in my yard yet or even if there are going to be, but these ducks are sure acting a lot like the the ones that stuck around.

In fact, I know it's crazy but I almost wondered if it IS the ducks from before. I doubt it, because those ducks have been gone for a long time and I really doubt they're coming back at this point, but these ducks are acting a lot like the other ones. They're hanging out in the same spot in the yard and they're not very nervous around me and neither were the other ones because I spent so much time with them. Ducks all look alike though, so I guess there's no way to know.

We're leaving town in a couple of days to go on a little spring break trip and I'm kind of bummed to be leaving them because I hope they don't give up and leave when I'm not around to feed them. It will be interesting to see if they're still here when we get back. I'm going to set some duck food out for them before we leave because I'm just a weirdo like that.:)

Anywhere, there is the latest duck update! If eggs show up I will definitely be back to post about it! :) 

1 comment:

Josh said...

Where did the ducks go today? I hope they come back.