Crazy ducks in downtown Lakeland

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“Hey lady, can you turn out the light?” said the muscovy duck.

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“I’m a happy duck.” said the some sort of mallard hybrid.

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“Going for a swim.” said another mallard hybrid.

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“I am not a mallard!” says the juvenile male wood duck.

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“We are family.”

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“I can swim.” says the American pekin duck.

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“I can flap too.”

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Hanging out with friends.

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“Hey lady, what kind of brown duck is this?”

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“This needs some hot sauce.” says the muscovy duck.

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“For the hundredth time, I’m a goose, not a swan so go away.”

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This mandarin duck couple looks sad. I’m not sure whether the males lose their bright feathers in the summer?

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“Hey lady, get my good side.” says the shelduck.

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“These bugs taste yummy.”

I walked around both lakes in downtown Lakeland, Lake Morton and Lake Mirror. All of the usual summer ducks were present but sadly, one of the shelducks has gone missing. A man who lives close by and feeds the ducks daily told me that he hasn’t seen the other one in a while. I didn’t see him while I was there. Sadly, now the shelduck is all alone.  Anyone want to take up a collection to buy another one for the lonely one at Lake Mirror? You can buy a pair for $275 on Efowl.com.  It doesn’t say but maybe you could get a single one for half the price.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Rainy walk around Lake Morton

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This muscovy duck was checking me out. Most of the ducks come pretty close to see if you have food to give them.

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One of my favorite hybrid ducks at the lake. He’s pretty with the black and white body and yellow beak.

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One lone white pelican still hanging around the lake. All of his friends have gone north for the summer. He looked okay so I’m not sure why he’s still hanging around.

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A male wood duck standing on one of the old swan pens along the lake.

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One of the cottonball heads shaking off.

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I realized he’s missing an eye. I don’t remember any of them missing an eye before.

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The other eye was fine.

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Unusual couple watching me.

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The powder puff male mallard is still there.

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As I was walking around the lake, I ran into some people feeding the wildlife. They were throwing bread to the birds. At least some people bring dried corn to feed them so it’s not always bad bread.

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Chaos started as birds from across the lake realized someone had food. They all came over.  The storks started grabbing bread.

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Everyone wants a handout. I guess they get tired of eating bugs and fish all the time.

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The great blue heron flew in and got a few bites.

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I left Lake Morton and headed over to Lake Mirror, just 5 minutes away. It was quiet there with only a few ducks close to the shore. I immediately saw this female mandarin duck.

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Then I found the male mandarin duck on the grass. These are not native ducks. The city purchased them because they were pretty and would look good floating around the lake downtown.

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At first he jumped in the water and headed for his girlfriend.

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As I sat down on the grass, the male came back up on shore. He seemed curious and headed towards me. He came really close and then headed back into the water. Again, I think he was looking to see if I had food to give him.

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The couple chilling out along the lake.

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Another strange hybrid couple.

It rained all weekend in mid-April. I wanted to get over to Lakeland to see if any of the swan eggs had hatched yet. I thought maybe I’d get lucky and the rain would   stop. No such luck. It drizzled the entire time I was walking around both lakes. At one point it starting raining heavier and I was walking around with my rain slicker on and trying to juggle an umbrella. By lunch, it was not going to clear up so I headed home. At least I got my walk in that morning.

Weird ducks

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Some type of mallard hybrid. There are so many different ducks at the lakes in downtown Lakeland. They are all one big family now.

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Another hybrid. This one is unusual looking.

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Hybrid family sticking close together.

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I don’t think this is a hybrid but I can’t find it in my Stokes Birding Guide.

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Taking a bath.

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I’m guessing a juvenile wood duck. Maybe a female one. This one was so cute. She was not skittish at all.

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Posing for me.

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“Wait, I’ve got an itch.”

I went looking for the new duck (shelduck) at Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland last month. While I was there I noticed all the different looking ducks swimming around. There’s a huge population of mallards, muscovy and white ducks. They all seem to be getting along pretty well. There’s a handful of wood ducks but they always keep to themselves. The other ducks congregate together. People are constantly feeding them so they come close to the edge of the lake. Technically, I think it’s illegal to feed the wildlife including ducks. At some of the parks I visit, there are signs saying “Do not feed the wildlife including ducks.” There are no signs at the lakes in downtown Lakeland except for the ones saying not to feed the swans in the pens. They get fed by the city when they have babies. So I’m not sure if it’s different by county. These ducks fill up on snacks such as bread and pretzels, chip, etc. I’m sure that’s not healthy for them. They should be eating bugs.  Although, if I was a duck I wouldn’t want to eat bugs either.

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