Sunday, September 04, 2016

Black Bellied BABIES!!! ...YEAH BABY, YEAH!!

Here is why the pair of adult Black Bellies would not leave my pond. Somehow, unseen by anyone here, they had nested and raised 8 ducklings to "almost adulthood" without any of us noticing.

Not even Hermine, a category 1 hurricane, could run them off from the cover rich, duckweed coated , tiny pond of mine.
I am so glad.
They are very alert, but laid back about my presence when I sneak around for a few pics.
I don't go down each day, and the dogs and I take a different route when we walk now.
I know they'll go eventually, but this is even more awesome than the brown pelican who showed up years ago.

He was apparently ill and only lasted a few days, but it was odd.

This is the whole family starting to get a little nervous about my presence. They have clumped together, a parent at each end, and are just starting to glide slowly towards cover on the opposite side of the pond.
This was the last shot before I turned and let them be. 
They had reached the flooded willowy, cypressy, swampy side and were comfortable enough to park it for a while.

As you can guess, I'm feeling pretty protective. 
More than once, I've walked down at night when I heard duck chatter... actually, a few days ago I dropped two armfuls of groceries on the way to the house over these ducks.

I had just loaded up for the "bag walk" to the house when a whistle duck racket broke out down at the pond.
I dropped the groceries and ran down there, but either the threat had left or my presence changed their focus.

Whatever the case, they seemed fine and were back to their usual awesomeness, so I trudged back up the slope.
Maybe a hawk or owl had cruised over, I don't know.

My research on Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks shows that they "take readily to nest boxes".

Already got that plan printed and will be making a nest box happen in the near future.

I am so curious as to where they actually nested, but will leave that exploration for a time after everybody has fledged and ... probably left.

Loving it while they are here though.


Ms. Moon said...

THAT is awesome! I am seriously charmed.

Island Rider said...


threecollie said...

This is just so awesome to me. How did they know to pick perhaps the most perfect place in Florida to be a wild creature?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Hope they will all make it.

I had a rabbit hanging out @ my place a long time. Neighbor says a big hawk is hanging out. I saw it Fri. evening in a nearby field.
Hoping the rabbit is hiding in the woods. I know, they all have to eat. Plenty of rats and snakes around here for them to eat. Neighbor's chickens too.

Julie Zickefoose said...

That is flipping unbelievable. The photos are delish. Karmic return, my friend. They are beautiful beyond telling.

Lisa Greenbow said...

How exciting.

robin andrea said...

Absolutely love seeing these photos. How wonderful! I'm so happy for you and for these beautiful ducks.

Anonymous said...

I love your photos and how protective you are. These ducks have no idea how luck they are and hopefully they will return next year to nest again. Lori

digitalzen said...

We have a pair in our lake. No babies yet, though. We have lots of shallow vegetation, and I think they just hang out here for the groceries.

Kim S. said...

Doesn't get much better than "your" Black Bellies in FL and Zick's bobcat in OH. What a glorious couple weeks of reading about wonderful surprises. Gifts all. Know you will continue to enjoy this activity while it lasts. Kim in PA

Sarah Graddy said...

Hey! Not sure how to send you an email, so I'll leave my comment here. Looks like you are in the New York Times -- did you know? Anyway, I assume this can only be you.

R.Powers said...

I saw that pic on the weather channel Hermine photos the other day and for a moment I thought it was ME.
It's not though. Someone just north of us in the town of Steinhatchee who fit the general description.
Too funny.

R.Powers said...

To all,
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm loving the "duck love".
One of my teacher friends posted on FB yesterday that he had Black Bellied Whistling ducks in his pecan trees.

This may be one of those species, like our sandhill cranes, that have a high tolerance for human activities.

I'll post more on them if something changes, or as the youngsters change to adult color ... if that happens while I am hosting them.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. I hope you get to see the little zebra/bumblebee tiny ducklings next year. They are so cute.

Kathy in Delray Beach

Laura L. said...

How cool is that? And you got photos too! Hope they will return next year too.

Wally Jones said...

How cool to have the duck family as guests! Once they spread the word, you may be overrun next year!

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