Muscovy duck babies are getting bigger

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A little more grown up, their bills are starting to look more like muscovy’s instead of a mallard bill.

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So cute and fuzzy!

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Mom’s got a cool hairdo.

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The little brown one was exhausted after swimming around.

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They want to know if I have a snack. I sat down on the sidewalk farther down and they come running looking for a handout.

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No snacks for you little guy. Go eat bugs.

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Time for another swim since it was so hot out.

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All wet.

The muscovy babies at my neighborhood pond were barely growing up after I stopped three weeks after taking the first pictures.

Extreme cuteness in my neighborhood

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I was driving home recently from a morning hike and as I drove around the little pond in my neighborhood, I noticed a few baby ducks walking around on the sidewalk. I parked my car and got out with my camera. There were two muscovy ducks with 3 babies.  The adult with the white feathers on her head and chest seemed to be the Mom. She stayed close to the babies. They all walked right towards me. I’m sure the neighbors are feeding them. I sat down on the grass and started taking pictures. When they realized I wasn’t going to feed them, they just started wandering around, going about their business.  After doing a little research, it’s not uncommon for muscovy ducks to have different babies. Some are all yellow, some all look just like mallard babies and some are mostly brown like the one above. I’m going to try to keep an eye out for them to see what they look like as they get older.

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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.

Same old birds at Circle B Bar Reserve

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The osprey was yelling at the vultures on the left to get a room!

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Lazy moorhens.

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A hybrid muscovy duck of some sort was following me along the Marsh Rabbit Run trail. He must have been lost. I’ve never seen a muscovy duck in this park. He came pretty close. He didn’t seem hurt so I kept on walking.

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Typical female anhinga pose.

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Purple gallinule showing off his big yellow feet.

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Green heron looking at something in the marsh.

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Juvenile blue heron just starting to get his blue feathers.

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Baby hawk yelling for his mom to bring food. The other sibling was already gone. This one was probably days away from flying the coop.

Nothing unusual to see on my walk at Circle B Bar Reserve back in late May. All of the winter birds and ducks were gone with the exception of a small flock of white pelicans still hanging out across the lake. Most of the spring migration birds were gone. Babies were growing up fast. Even though things were slowing down, there’s still a lot to see. It was right before the summer heat set in.  Now it’s just a million degrees and a thousand percent humidity so I’ll be heading to the beach more for that summer breeze.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

And then there were 5

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“Hey, let my try that stick.”

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“What is this lady doing?”

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“What? You want me to do something cute?”

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“How about if I flap my wings? Is this cute?”

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“Did you get that lady? Now where’s my snack?”

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“Yeah, why didn’t you bring any bread, lady? Everybody else feeds us.”

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“What about my picture? Don’t you want a picture of me and my pretty green feathers?”

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“Or maybe if I turn this way you can see I’m missing an eye.”

My neighborhood pond family went from 13 ducklings to only 5. These were taken in late March and now there are only 3 left in early April. Where did they all go? There’s a lot of hawks in the neighborhood and we have been seeing an eagle close by. I don’t think there are alligators in the pond since it sits on an apartment complex property. They usually keep the gators out. I noticed the muscovy duck sitting on the retaining wall and as I passed by several days in a row I realized he didn’t move much. I think the neighbors are keeping him fed.

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