Unexpected Neighbors

We’ve had a lot of different animals come visiting in the yard, especially since we put out a pile of corn and sunflower seeds for the birds, squirrels, and rabbits. Occasional fish guts or chicken bones can bring in the rare visit from our nocturnal scavengers, possums. But for the past week, we haven’t been able to explain why or from where our visitors have come to the yard.

Ducks.

Not white yard ducks, but a teal mallard and his mate.
Every day for the past week and a half, they’ve been showing up in the yard. They chase squirrels and blue jays off the feed pile, steal all the corn, then settle themselves down in the grass in the neighboring yard next to a mud puddle.

The closest that we can figure is that they think the mud puddle, with all the rain we’ve gotten recently, is a small pond. Combine that with the steady supply of corn, and maybe they think this is a good place to settle. We haven’t found them to be nesting though, as they’re only there parts of the day (usually early morning and evening) and almost always together.

A few days ago I was up early and heard one of them raising a ruckus as one of the Century Link trucks were parking in the lot. When I looked around, I saw the female duck up by the forsythia in the brush, but didn’t see a sign of the male anywhere. It was only a moment later that I heard “Quack quack quack quack quack!” coming from on top of the building. The mallard waddled to the edge of the roof, then flew down, splash-landing in the puddle. He stood up right away, and I swear he had a look on his face that said, “I coulda sworn this was deeper than that!”

I’m not sure how long they plan on sticking around, but one this is for sure. They’re going to be mighty disappointed when that puddle dries up without the daily rain.

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