Brood 28 debuts near the Imagination Station

August 11th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Mom doesn't keep the kids tightly close to her

The three tykes look like they are 2-3 days oldA Mallard hen was found with 3 2-day-old hatchlings near the Imagination Station last evening. She’s hatched 2015’s 28th brood in the Fertility Tournament. While the hen is in attendance, it took me a few minutes to figure out which hen she was. Her youngsters were darting through the swimming flock and many adult ducks pecked at the babies. The hen didn’t bother to come to their rescue nor did she keep them in tight formation like most successful moms do.

I don’t recognize the hen so I can’t give you any backstory. She may be a mom of an early spring brood, but I haven’t compared her photos with other millpond moms. We’ve had 198 ducklings hatch at the pond this year. Will we reach 200? If Franny successfully hatches at least 2 of her 6 eggs, we will. I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t other hens on nests hidden in shoreline foliage.

Each of the three looks like a full blood Mallard Brood 28 has only three ducklings

More ducklings arrive

July 22nd, 2015     0 comments     permalink

The Brood 27 hen gathered her ducklings together for a cool evening

The Brood 27 hen gathered her ducklings together for a cool eveningThis is a banner year for ducklings at the Brighton millpond. We’ve already had more hatchings than any other year I’ve documented yet I think the adult population of ducks is less than previous years. We’ve also lost several of the most productive domestic and wild Mallard hens.

While some hens have had tragic losses, three hens have been wildly successful at keeping most of their chicks alive until adulthood. I think there are less predators — gulls and turtles — taking their toll.

The hen is quick to move her brood away from other ducks, a good signI found Brood 27 last evening with six ducklings. They are estimated to be two days old. I don’t recognize the hen but she is highly protective of her tykes and finally roosted with all of the kids under her near the Imagination Station last evening.

A major killer of ducklings in their early life is cold nighttime temperatures. The small birds don’t have enough body mass to generate enough heat, but as long as their mom huddles them beneath her, they will be fine. Last night was cool, around 60 degrees, so the youngsters require mom’s warmth. When farm raised, the recommended temperature for ducklings is 90 degrees for the first couple of weeks so a wild hen has quite a job to do. Her youngsters also spend time in water that’s much cooler than heated farm pools.

All six chicks appear healthy and active

Brood 26 debuts near city hall

July 7th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Mom brought her ducklings to the crowded shore to intermingle with goose and duck families

Seven day-old ducklings joined a hoard of goose and duck families on the shore north of Brighton’s city hall Monday evening. The hen is a regular millpond hen. I believe this is her second brood of the season. Her first was 2015 Brood 2 hatched on May 15. I only saw that family twice in mid-May. The hen has a unique feather pattern on her head that makes her look like she has a punk haircut.

She brought these tykes right up to me because she was hungry. Hens with newly hatched ducklings are often famished, They don’t have time to eat on their chicks’ first day. Two of the little fuzzballs are what I call “Butterscotch Babies,” hybrids between wild Mallard hens and domestic Pekin drakes. Sadly, those ducklings have a tough time reaching adulthood. I assume it’s because they are more visible to avian predators; gulls, hawks, and owls.

Two of the seven ducklings are Mallard/Pekin hybrids.

Since April 29, 189 ducklings have hatched on the Brighton millpond, the most since 2012, the year I began keeping track of duck broods. It’s estimated 127 of them are still alive, but that count is probably on the high side. I lose track of many duck families because the hens are difficult to identify once their chick begin to grow.

Brood 25 has nine ducklings

July 1st, 2015     0 comments     permalink

The hen for Brood 25 gathers her brood together on the crowded shore near Brighton's city hall

I found Brood 25 on the crowded shore north of Brighton’s City Hall. It’s an awful place to bring brand new ducklings. The area is filled with Canada goose families and is carpeted in goose poop. It can’t be a healthy stomping ground for newbies, but try to convince new hens of that.

Why do ducks and geese like this shoreling for their nightly roost? It gives them a 360 degree view to watch for predators. There aren’t many places along the shore as open as this area and the sidewalks near Main Street.

The hen is approached by another Mallard hen and she shoves her into submission while her ducklings watch

While predators cannot sneak up on the birds here, squabbles between mothers of both ducklings and goslings are common. A Mallard hen arrived with her month-old troupe and the Brood 25 hen immediately attacked her in a rousing chest shoving match (above) while her confused ducklings remained immobile and three almost grown goslings watched the scrimmage.

As the other duck flees, she steps on one of the day old ducklings In her haste to return to her new brood, the mom steps on the same duckling's head

The ducklings gather in front of Dixie thinking he is their motherShe overpowered the other hen the defeated bird stomped on one of her kids (above left) as she fled. Then the mom stomped on the same duckling’s head and neck as she gathered her nine duckings (above right). That poor fuzzball had a rough first day but didn’t appear injured though I’m sure several ducklings are killed each year by clumsy adult waterfowl.

The nine birds dodged several families of goslings and spent time at the feet of Dixie, a 9-month-old Pekin drake who was tolerant of the little ones (right). The ducklings are too young to recognize their mother and approach any adult duck thinking it might be her. After a few clucks, mom took all nine into the water.

This family of ducklings brings a new duckling record to the Annual Brighton Millpond Fertility Tournament. To date, 182 ducklings have hatched on the pond and about 127 have survived their early lives. The previous record was established in 2012, the first year I kept track, when 179 ducklings were born. We will have a few more hatchings this year since the nesting season will go on until at least the end of July though in past years we have had new ducklings arrive as late as November. The survival rate is just under 70% but many ducklings will be lost between now and when most migrate southward this autumn. About 50% of ducklings are usually taken by hawks, owls, raccoons, and turtles along with natural causes.

Once the crisis passes, the hen searches for things to eat Young ducklings stay close to mom for protection

A dozen and a half ducklings in 4 days

July 1st, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Mom plays lifeguard as her ducklings wade in the Brighton millpond

The Brood 24 hen looks down at her six ducklings on the millpond's embankmentWe’ve had a wave of hatchings in the past four days. I’ve already announced Brood 23 with its trio of tykes hatched on June 26. Last night I found two brand new clutches of youngsters.

Brood 24 has six ducklings and mom is bringing them to roost near the Imagination Station. She is within feet of Brood 23 so I think the two hens are either sisters or best buds. The chicks appear to be two days old and all look like full blood Mallards. I’ll place photos of Brood 25 in the next post.

Nice to find Calamity safe

June 28th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Calamity floats with her four chicks, Brood 17

I got word this week two ducks were flattened beyond recognition on Grand River Avenue near the headwaters of the millpond. That’s the paddling grounds of Calamity so I made it a point to look for her. I couldn’t find her and thought she might have been killed by a passing car.

Last night, my mood elevated when I spotted her floating with her four ducklings at the north end. She started with eight ducklings on May 27th (2015 Brood 17) but hasn’t lost any more since their early days. That’s encouraging since this is her first successful experience raising a family. Maybe she will become one of the pond’s most productive hens like her mother, Confidia, who departed this world last spring.

2015 Brood 23 arrives

June 27th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

I was looking for Franny’s two ducklings on the pond’s embankment Thursday night and found a Mallard hen with her wings down. That usually indicates they are keeping new babies warm. In the shadows, I noticed Franny’s two moving away from the hen (below, left). Is another hen providing them with surrogate care? I’m still not sure what was going on. Maybe Franny’s kids were cuddling against her for warmth and she didn’t shoo them away even though she had good reason to do that.

I found the Brood 23 hen with her wings lowered, a sign ducklings are underneath her The birds are less than a day old

Later, Franny led her duckling to another roosting location along with Dazzle and RazzleThe hen, one I don’t recognize, had three first-day ducklings under her (above, right). Moms with newly hatched chicks are highly protective. They rarely let any duck, young or old, near their newbies.

Franny’s kids followed the sound of their mom’s squawking and joined her for an after dark paddle with Dazzle and Razzle (right). Duke, her other suitor, joined them a short time later. Franny isn’t a great mom, but her chicks are doing alright. One of the two isn’t as large as the other but it soldiers on day after day.

Franny’s a mom … finally

June 15th, 2015     3 comments     permalink

Franny had 14 eggs and one was left in the next unhatched

In 2014, Franny attempted to nest twice but both clutches of eggs were destroyed by a marauding raccoon. This year, she nested away from the pond near a dumpster behind La Marsa restaurant. That concerned me because raccoons visit the trash bins and dumpsters near the Brighton millpond. Domestic ducks aren’t great at protecting themselves from predators. Franny was dumped at the millpond in August, 2013 with another Rouen hen who was consumed by a coyote in the winter of 2014.

On each of my pond visits during the past month, I’ve made it a point to check on her and provide her with a couple of handfuls of duck chow. She usually would come off the nest to eat it so I could check the eggs. I knew her 14 eggs would hatch this week so when I found her nest empty except for one unbroken one Sunday night, I wasn’t surprised, but I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t find her still sitting there with a few tiny heads poking out underneath her. I thought she had already taken the tykes to the pond and I wouldn’t get a chance to see them on their first day.

Franny presents her hatchlings to me I think there are 11 hatchlings

Dazzle, Razzle, and Duke (her suitors) were in the parking lot about 50 feet from her nest. I walked to them to give them some duck chow. As soon as I rattled the container, I heard a squawk behind me. No other duck squawks like Franny. She was under a shrub with the babies. After she snarfed down two handfuls of food she presented the kids to me.

The chicks are less than a day old

I still can’t tell you how many there are. The maximum could be 13 since she had 14 eggs but one didn’t hatch, but I can only see 11 in these photos. The way they huddle together, the fuzzballs blend into one another and I didn’t want to disturb them any more than I already was doing. Within a day or two, mom will have the troupe in the water and it will be easy to count the ones that are left though it may be less than seen last night.

Most ducklings are dark like Dazzle A couple of them have unusual facial markings

Most are very dark so there’s a good chance their father is Dazzle or his son, Razzle. A couple of them have unusual patterns on their heads (above right) so Parfait may have paid a visit and rendered his services. None of them look like Rusty or Fred, but their traits may reveal themselves as the youngsters begin to grow.

One of the chicks waddled over to me and Franny didn't seem concerned for its safety

One of the little guys waddled over to me and Franny didn’t seem a bit stressed by me being so close to it. I’m not sure that’s a good sign. I’d prefer she guard them with all her might so predators and people can’t come close. Little birds like these are very fragile. Their internal organs aren’t protected by ribs so one wrong squeeze by a child can be fatal within 24 hours.

A few of the young have unique markings so they can  be easily identified as they grow up, something I always appreciate since ducks refuse to wear name tags. At least one of them appears to be gray with a light colored chest (below right). The darkest ones all have white chests now but they might lose those chest markings and become solid black like Dazzle as they grow.

Franny has a jumble of fuzzballs under her At least one of them is gray with a white chest

Rouen hens are rated as “good” mothers so it will be interesting to see how successful Franny is raising her first family. I think she’ll have at least three suitors following along with the kids but drakes aren’t protective of ducklings, but they will alert the entire family when danger comes near. By Monday evening, you might find Franny and her newborns searching for insects and vegetation along the shore or in the water near Stillwater Grill. She may decide to take them elsewhere, but she seems to be content in this area of the pond because there are less rogue drakes with whom she must contend.

The weather is warm but they still seek mom's comfort

A more successful blonde

June 13th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Ten day-old ducklings comprise Brood 21 with Blonde Bombshell #2 at the helm

The shoreline on the bay north of Brighton’s city hall is crowded with geese and a few duck families. I noticed a blonde hen with her wings down guarding ducklings near the Brood 4 tribe of 15. I assumed it was Brood 20 with its two ducklings. A family of Canada geese decided to occupy that exact spot and ousted both of the broods while I was standing there (below).

A goose family ousted Brood21's roost and sent them into the millpond

The gander took a poke at the ducklings and convinced the hen to move her brood into the pondOut popped 10 tiny birds from under the blonde (top). This is a new batch of ducklings brought to you by Blonde Bombshell #2, a hen who has hatched several clutches in past years. She hasn’t been very successful in getting them to adulthood but we can all hope for the best now that she’s a more seasoned mom.

In past years, there were three blonde hens on the pond. I’ve only seen two this year. I received a report two blondes were frequenting the yard of a residence near the pond. I’ve assumed they are the same birds. All three look alike but their bill markings are slightly different. They are of domestic stock. I’ve never gotten a definitive answer of what breed they are. I think they’re Saxony ducks. That breed has bronze-ish color patches on their wings instead of blue ones like the Mallards.

The youngsters stick close to mom Blonde Bombshell #2 is a seasoned hen at the Brighton millpond

The amazing Sugar Raye

June 11th, 2015     2 comments     permalink

Sugar Raye's injured leg hasn't improved but it doesn't keep her from being ravishing

Sugar Raye is an amazing survivor. After her leg injury last August where she was forced to hop on one leg for a spell, she appeared this spring with more functionality. The drakes became enamored with her dark, irresistable beauty.

Even though I knew she was receiving a lot of attention from the boys, I hadn’t noticed her missing long enough to be nesting. I saw her on most visits to the pond. So it was a real surprise to discover her on the pond’s embankment protecting a clutch of newly hatched ducklings on May 29 (right). Maybe she ordered them through a catalogue.

I think she has six, but may have seven ducklings

I found Sugar Raye on the embankment with her youngstersShe was so protective of the newly hatched brood I wasn’t sure if she had 6 or 7 ducklings under her. A few days later, she was allowing them to explore a bit more and I found six tykes.

She’s one of the most diligent moms on the pond right now. Though she allows the small fries some latitude in their wanderings, she’s quick to bring them back together when other ducks or dangers present themselves. As a result, she’s managed to only lose one of six in their early days, a rarity shared by just a couple of other millpond hens guarding their young.

The most colorful duckling of the season so farHer choice of sires for the kids has been creative. She’s produced two of the pond’s most colorful chicks of the season. One is yellow/white from the chest upward except for a black “cap” that includes its eyes. It’s a highly unusual pattern. It also has a unique pattern on its bill that ought to be interesting by the time it becomes a full-fledged adult.

The duckling will be distinctive when fully grown

Another duckling has a white chest that may become a large white patch when it grows up. The markings on chicks aren’t always reliable indicators of adult plumage yet the markings will surely be distinctive enough to make the bird easy to identify as it meanders around the pond in the future.

The forgotten ducklings of Brood 20

June 11th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

The blonde helps her young forage in the lily pads

The family moves from pad to pad searching for small things to eatMay 31: The blonde duck, probably a domestic Saxony, had nested in a window box at Four Seasons florist on Grand River Avenue. It was a safer choice than the nest she had on the ground last year near the Wooden Spoon restaurant. Not only was it out of reach to predators, she had the full support of the shop’s staff during her stay there.

The duckings were ready to leave the nest on this night but the process of mom calling for them to jump to the ground so they could journey to the pond was interrupted by two rogue Mallard drakes. Two of the ducklings were already following behind mom as the randy birds pursued the hen to mate again. One of the shopkeepers came by the nest to check on the progress during the drakes chase. I told her the hen would eventually return to the nest to retrieve the rest of her ducklings. I checked the nest two hours later and found the seven remaining ducklings huddled together on the cold night with no mom to be found.

Seven ducklings waited for mom to return but she never came

The following day, I spotted mom with two youngsters. They were foraging among lily pads surrounded by cottonwood seed fluff (top). The window was box empty, not a good sign. I called the florist to see if one of the staff had rescued the tykes the next morning. I had hoped they were taken to Howell Nature Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Program. They said the nest was empty when the staff arrived in the morning. My guess is someone else rescued the birds or they jumped down during the night searching for mom and their first meals and didn’t survive the chill in the air. The hen apparently forgot she had most of her brood waiting for her return during the melee with the marauding drakes.

Onyx’s tragic first nesting

June 10th, 2015     2 comments     permalink

She is a calm duck and endured many cold nights

It’s not unusual for a first-time mom to be unsuccessful, but it seems particularly sad for this Cayuga hen. She gave it her all and had a major cheering section giving her support throughout her 28 days of nesting.

Onyx hid in plain sight for 28 days Onyx was a dedicated brooder

Onyx was given an easy way for her ducklings to descend from the nestShe selected one of three black ceramic planters behind the buidling next to the Yum Yum Tree on Main Street. The staff of the restaurant passed by her numerous times each day and became so attached to her they brought her duck chow and named her Onyx. The dead plant she hid behind for four weeks slowly became just a few twigs during her stay. Either she broke off its branches to add to her nest or one of her caregivers tidied up the surroundings for her.

More than a week before her eggs hatched, the resident in the office behind her nest set up an ingenius ramp from available materials so Onyx and her babies would have a safe way to exit the nest following their hatching. It was a fine gesture, but duckings are wired to jump from nests on their first day of life. Their mom usually leaves first then quacks from below them to convince them to jump. Some nests are much higher than this one. Ducklings rarely are injured in their fall.

One of the eggs showed signs of hatching on May 28 All of her ducklings hatched on May 29

The first signs of hatching appeared on the night of May 28. One egg had a small tiny hole pecked out of it. I didn’t bother Onyx to see the others but some may have been in the same state. By late afternoon on the following day, most (if not all) of the ducklings were hatched. One was found on the ground below the nest and it was placed in the nest again to join the rest of the brood. I saw at least six but didn’t disturb Onyx to see if there were more under her.

Typically, moms wait for all of the eggs to hatch and then leads her offspring to a nearby pond under the cover of darkness. I waited between the nest and the pond until well into the night hoping I would see the family make the short trek but it didn’t happen under my watch. The next day, the nest was empty and the family group couldn’t be found on the millpond.


The ducklings waited for the rest of the brood to hatch Most of her ducklings had mom's dark coloration

By June 1, Onyx only had one ducklingJune 1: About 150 teens dance at the gazebo on Monday nights. Onyx reappeared during the event with only one duckling in tow. The others were never seen again. They might have been stolen, but it’s more likely they were consumed by predators or died on cold nights.

One of the Bronze Boys stays near Onyx

Onyx was accompanied by one of the Bronze Boys (left) who appears bonded with her. While mom stayed on the embankment with her chick, the drake remained nearby on the sidewalk above her.

The muskrat meant no harm but got too close to Onyx in its hunt for foodI watched Scout, the muskrat, arrive within four feet of Onyx (right). She bristled at his visit and threatened him with a hiss (below). When he didn’t take the hint, she bolted toward him (below right). He took off like a shot to avoid her. This encounter shows she has the protective instincts needed to raise a family. She may try again this summer or wait until next year.

Onyx threatened a muskrat that got too close to her remaining chick Onyx dashed to the muskrat who left in a hurry

The little bird followed closely behind momThe fracas with the rodent gave Onyx an adrenalin rush. She hopped into the water and her youngster. They swan for a while then returned to the embankment for some shut eye. Within the next 24 hours, the last of her ducklings vanished and she is now spending full time with her bonded partner.

Born last summer, Onyx is one of Dazzle’s six ducklings with distinctive Cayuga coloration. One of her sisters is raising Brood 14 with limited success I’ll present at another time.

Upset by the muskrat, Onyx joined her chick in the water

The brutal world of ducks

June 4th, 2015     4 comments     permalink

The ducklings kept themselves occupied in mom's absence

May 23: The public is understandably horrified by some of the breeding activities of ducks. Thirty percent of all matings is forced and may involve a large group of drakes attacking one female. I’ve seen up to 13 males in one instance. When this happens on a nice evening when a crowd of people are watching, it causes quite a stir.

The battered mom came out of hiding after about 30 minutesWhen I arrived on the scene this evening, ten ducklings (2015 Brood 15) were left alone on the pond (above) and their mom was cowering and panting under a shrub beside the Imagination Station. At least a dozen people were distraught and wondered what they could do to help. It’s difficult to convince people that nature will handle the situation when an animal is hurt and ten ducklings are swimming alone in the pond with no protection.

The bloodied hen emerged about 30 minutes after being brutalized and began to call for her ducklings. There was enough activity at the pond that her calls didn’t attack the babies but reminded the nearby drakes she was available for another round. Within minutes, she was in flight to avoid further contact with the males. She didn’t leave the area, but flew to several spots to try to hide quite agitated that she could not return to her offspring.

She had open wounds on her head

The ducklings continued to forage on their own near shore. Ten were in the brood when the melee began (below left). At some point while they were untended, one of the ducklings disappeared. Perhaps a bass or turtle snatched it. No gulls were in the area that evening.

Ten ducklings searched for things to eat along shore While mom was away, the young ducklings searched for food along the shore

Only 9 ducklings greeted mom on her returnKelli Brantigan and her seven year old daughter, Valerie Kalush, found the still-traumatized hen far from the pond and brought her back to the edge where her brood was foraging. She was released and quickly rejoined the nine youngsters who gathered around her.

Her wounds will heal and her feathers will grow back while she tends her troupe. Hopefully, she’ll seek a location within the pond where the males will leave her alone. If ducks were alligators, the public would expect savage behavior between them. Since ducks are viewed as cute/friendly/gentle creatures, seeing them involved in what can only be called violent mating rituals shatters the public’s perceptions. Nature doesn’t explain herself so the only solace is knowing Mallards are a highly successful species.


May 25th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

The attending drake is a "bronze brother"

Mom is one of Dazzle's 2014 ducklings. She has a white neck band in front.The Brighton millpond is churning out ducklings at a frantic pace now. If my calculations are correct — well, close at least — more than 100 new ducks have hatched and at least 90 of them are still with us through a week of cold temperatures and rain. There have been several dramas along with the crowded conditions but I don’t have time to write about them right now. Soon, you’ll find photos of each brood, but I haven’t had time to post anything about broods 9-13 yet.

The brood is an interesting assortment of colorsOne of the most interesting broods is #14. The hen is one of Dazzle’s daughters from last summer and she introduced 11 ducklings to me last evening. Her attending drake is one of the two “bronze brothers,” but it’s evident he’s not the father of more than half of the clutch. He may not be related to any of them. A Canada goose throttles one of the day-old ducklingsSix of the tykes have typical Mallard markings, four look like mom, and one is a “butterscotch baby” who was probably fathered by a Pekin. I’ll chat with Dumpling about his conduct to see if he had anything to do with that one.

The crowded shoreline north of city hall isn’t without difficulties. When a Canada goose wanted to move his family through Brood 14, it grabbed a day-old duckling by the wing and threw it out of his way (left). I’ve never seen a goose kill a duckling though I’ve heard of it happening. When I’ve witnessed attacks, geese seem to be annoyed by the youngsters and they bite them just to encourage them to move.

2015 Brood 9

May 23rd, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen Mallard hen
Drake(s) None Attending
DOB (estimate) May 18
Pond Location Behind storefronts on Main Street under gas meter
1st Meeting Patty showed me the nest
Duckling Count 5/18 emptied. 6 ducklings verified 5/22.

Found the family 5/22 near city hall with an attending drake.

See all posts about Brood 9 together on one page: 2015Brood9

2015 Brood 8

May 18th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen Mallard hen
Drake(s) None Attending
DOB (estimate) May 15
Pond Location Raised bed near Sagano restaurant
1st Meeting Under burning bush, watched her nest
Duckling Count None verified, May 15. Hen and eggs gone on this date.

Mallard hen was nesting under a burning bush near Sagano restaurant. Hen and eggs gone on May 15. Eggs could have hatched and the hen moved family to the pond, but since there are no broken shells, eggs may have been stolen by a human or a predator.

See all posts about Brood 8 together on one page: 2015Brood8

2015 Brood 7

May 18th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen Maybelline” Mallard hen, dark eyes like wearing mascara
Drake(s) None Attending
DOB (estimate) May 15
Pond Location North end behind laundromat
1st Meeting On shore
Duckling Count 16 verified, May 17.

Mallard hen has at least three year history of nesting.

See all posts about Brood 7 together on one page: 2015Brood7

2015 Brood 6

May 18th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen Mallard hen with no remarkable features
Drake(s) Mallard drake Attending
DOB (estimate) May 16
Pond Location Tridge and Main Street areas
1st Meeting In water near Tridge at cemetery
Duckling Count 4 verified, May 16.

Mallard hen with attending Mallard drake. Not found on the pond thereafter but family expected back near Imagination Station where mom raising her brood in 2014.

See all posts about Brood 6 together on one page: 2015Brood6

2015 Brood 5

May 18th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen “Pudgy Cheeks,” Mallard at least second year hen.
Drake(s) None Attending
DOB (estimate) May 16
Pond Location In nest while hatching
1st Meeting Bheind Main Street storefronts
Duckling Count 5 verified but probably more, May 16.

Saw ducklings as they were hatching, Hen moved them out of nest by morning. Not found on the pond thereafter but family expected back near Imagination Station where mom raised her brood in 2014.

See all posts about Brood 5 together on one page: 2015Brood5

2015 Brood 4

May 17th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen Mallard hen, severe bald spots on head.
Drake(s) Mallard Drake Attending
DOB (estimate) May 15
Pond Location In water near Main Street area
1st Meeting On shoreline
Duckling Count 15 verified by Wacht family, May 15; 13 by May 16

All ducklings have typical Mallard markings, some ducklings probably creched from another brood since they are smaller.

See all posts about Brood 4 together on one page: 2015Brood4

2015 Brood 3

May 16th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen Mallard hen, highly protective.
Drake(s) None Attending
DOB (estimate) May 14
Pond Location Shore in front of Stillwater Grill then Main Street area
1st Meeting On shoreline
Duckling Count 7 verified, May 16

All ducklings have typical Mallard markings.

See all posts about Brood 3 together on one page: 2015Brood3

2015 Brood 2

May 16th, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen Mallard hen with “punk haircut” from males ripping out feathers.
Drake(s) None Attending
DOB (estimate) May 15
Pond Location Shore near Laundromat
1st Meeting In water beside shore, hen missing
Duckling Count 3 verified, May 17

All ducklings have typical Mallard markings.

See all posts about Brood 2 together on one page: 2015Brood2

2015 Brood 1

May 1st, 2015     0 comments     permalink

Hen “Nacho,” Mallard hen with notch out of bill, right side.
Drake(s) Mallard drake Attending
DOB (estimate) April 29
Pond Location Shore in front of Stillwater Grill
1st Meeting On shoreline
Duckling Count 9 verified, May 1; reduced to 5 by May 6

All ducklings have typical Mallard markings.

See all posts about Brood 1 together on one page: 2015Brood1

Where Am I?

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  • Douglas Peterson
    Brighton, Michigan

    Artist • Designer
    Writer • Illustrator
    Marketing Strategist

    You'll find information about the resident ducks, birds, and critters residing at the Brighton millpond. I slip in my art and poetry, but my photography of wildlife and plants is the primary focus.

    Douglas Alden Peterson
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    7,000 Photos
All 103 pages have small "Older Entries" and "Newer Entries" links to more than 2,800 posts. Don't miss them.

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    Click headlines to submit comments. They'll appear once approved. I feed spammers to millpond muskrats.

    Clicking most photos opens larger/more detailed versions in new windows. I highly recommend it.

  • Duck feeding and care:
    Want a Pet Duck?
    Duck Rescue Network

    At Brighton's Millpond:

  • Are you an expert?
    Please correct my wildfowl and plant misinformation with comments. I need your help. My knowledge is mostly anecdotal.
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