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The mallard family

Phil’s family is growing up rapidly.  I think all four ducklings are drakes now, which means we could have some interesting dominance contests coming up.

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Good luck picking out Phil in this photo! He’s in total eclipse, and two of his sons are bigger than he is. Their mother is the big duck in the middle. I am beginning to think she is a wild mallard/Rouen cross, just because of her great size.

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This one will be a classic greenhead. I almost guarantee it.

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This one is very dark, so it’s difficult to see what color this one will mature into.

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I don’t want to count my eggs before they’ve hatched. Especially with this duck, who has had four nest failures this summer.

But she’s currently brooding 11 eggs. Maybe there will be hen ducklings in that clutch!

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Who is the daddy?

Source.

My guess is a European polecat that mated with the ferret.

I don’t know about the extra toes bit.

No really, but it looks like a somewhat larger coyote showed up this week.

wv coyote bigger one

Ivan on a stroll

Ivan likes to go on little strolls.

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Now juvenile ducks

You really can’t call them ducklings anymore.

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I believe they are three drakes and one hen, with the carrot top being the hen.

In one of her father’s notorious rape sessions, he wound up puling up some the skin on the back of her head.

I have not laid my hands on these ducks, so I have not been able to sex them.

But the biggest one getting some green plumage, and he’s already the same size as his dad.

So Phil better watch it!

 

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This evening I made a pretty gruesome discovery in the tall grass.

A predator of some sort had killed Phil’s sister, who had been sitting on a nest somewhere deep in the meadow grass. She had not been coming to evening feeds.

Her body was lying there, inundated with maggots and stinking to high heaven.

Phil is now the last of clutch.

Of course, I didn’t waste the body. I put her remains near the trail camera to feed whatever carnivore comes that way.

We’re like the Copenhagen Zoo here. Death is not wasted.

It just can’t be.

 

 

 

Eastern box turtles need to be in the water a bit.

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