Ducks in Winter – Duck Retaliation

Duck-pair-3

Ducks flying

OK, here we are back in Duckdom, showing who invaded the ducks and where ducks are headed and why. The race is on…

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Two Mallards Flying

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Three Mallards Flying

Interspersed in the post is images out on the icy Niagara River.

While at the park on this day, I ran into a wildlife photographer photographing the songbirds at one of my feeding stations. I offered to bring in birds by hand feeding them while we talked.

I explained that I was at the park to photograph ducks, but I always bring seed along for my friends of the forest.

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Niagara River frozen

We talked about photography and also bird watching. He, like me, was not a “real” bird watcher in the sense of recording what we see other than by our camera. Where he lived, there was a very nice assortment of birds I don’t see very often.

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Ducks on the Niagara River

The conversation led to the topic of being a bird watcher and I was telling him all that I have learned and how great they are at finding birds I never even heard of.

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Canada Geese on the Niagara River in Winter

He then told me a story of running into a group of birdwatchers last summer on the beach. They all had their scopes pointed at a group of sandpipers and here he comes with his big camera. He moved in on the birds and the birdwatchers went berserk.  It became a stand-off and he was not giving up a good photo-op.

Duck-Pair

Two Mallards Flying

Well, I then told him of the story how a pair of dog walkers came to our beach as we were birdwatching and how upset the birdwatchers became, and rightfully so as you read this story of the ducks in Duckdom.

Niagara-River-Edge

All is not well in Duckdom. The calm, peaceful day became one of all out mayhem.

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Niagara River in Ice

This is one of the little falls, a rock outcropping over which water flows. Now it is frozen. Ducks are often found here when the river is running through Greater Duckdom. But you can see they had to relocate to ice surrounded by water for safety from stray cats and dogs. Ducks that feed in the shallows are without food judging by the images in this post. It leads me to believe that all that sitting around in “What Do Ducks Do In Winter? See Them On the Niagara River” are hungry and saving energy, making what happens in Duckdom all that the more worrisome.

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Mallards in Flight

So where are the ducks going now and why?

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Male Mallard Flying

They are off to Canada, ironic , no?

Duckdom got invaded by Canada Geese

Some idiot gentleman brought his dog, which was not even as big as a cat, to the park off leash and it proceeded to attack the resting geese.

Stupid geese, that little mutt could have been a snack, yet they were all scared off by the loud, annoying yapping. Fido was even dressed in a little red velvet coat with a faux mink fur collar. He did not look too intimidating to me.

Had I known what was going to transpire, I could have recorded the whole thing. I was on my way back to my Jeep when the man and his minute mutt passed me. Hearing the anxious honking and encouraging, “Get ‘em, get ‘em.”, I turned to see the tiny terror head into the flock.

All couple hundred of the geese hit the air at one time, headed for the safety of Duckdom. I ran back but was barely able to get there in time for the action. The ice was not big enough for all the waterfowl and the smaller ones had to evacuate, even many of the gulls. The little mutt went back to its owner tiny curled tail held high.

Truth be told, I don’t like Chihuahuas, even mixed ones. I was so mad about this because all the wildlife was settling down for the night. I must be becoming a birdwatcher since my only concern was the birds. Lucky the little mutt did not get washed away in the currents.

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Gull in Flight

The geese being ousted from their peaceful home invaded Duckdom. Like a sky full of fighter pilots, the geese honking loudly like jet engines thundering, made a direct flight to Duckdom. The sun was setting, making the scene more ominous.

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Canada Geese Flock Flying

Only a few ducks remained after the army of geese landed. No duck was injured during the incursion, but they made a hasty exit.

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Canada Geese on the frozen Niagara River

And off to Canada the ducks went… probably seeking retribution on a whole nation.

Race-is-On

Two Mallards in Flight

So who won the race to Canada?

The lighter, faster Maxine Mallard of course….

Always something interesting in Birdland. Next post, Why Do Birds Cache ? – To Put Cache in the Bank for a Rainy Day. It is an interesting look at bird behavior and links to the science.

After that… a post to see something you probably never saw a robin do in winter. I did a double take at what bird I was seeing. Nature always amazes me.

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About Donna Brok

Love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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58 Responses to Ducks in Winter – Duck Retaliation

  1. fictionfitz says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Out Loud and commented:
    If you like birds, tune into these powerful pictures

  2. Interesting story. That first photo is just spectacular!

  3. Interesting. I taught JT at 10 weeks old, by praise only, how to be a Good Dog this man was no better than his dog :(

    • But what about the ducks? Poor duckies. The dog never got to the ducks though just the geese, and not too many sympathetic to geese.

      • Sad to see a man send his dog off to raise hell and get them to scatter here there and everywhere. You should have turned him in to Wildlife folks license plate and make and model of his car. Dog officer if there is a leash law as well.

  4. franzisofie says:

    Your photos are stunning! Absolutely amazing! Great photos of the two ducks. You can see their colours well. And I like the back view of the three flying ducks. Great!

  5. Jardin says:

    Absolutely stunning photos – thanks!

  6. Pretty irresponsible. You do seem to have gotten totally into birds and away from plants, at least for right now.

    • I thought it was mean for him to send in that small dog on purpose just to make the geese take flight. No, not totally into birds, just all that is colorful right now. With the new tab for Public Gardens and Garden Walks, there is more gardens to see than on most garden blogs. Plants are a means to an end with me, landscape design and wildlife food and shelter.

  7. Beautiful pictures ! Did you know that Canadian geese live in large flocks in Belgium and Holland ? They stay here whole year long. I think they like it here, our Winters are not so cold and snowy as they are in Canada.

  8. acuriousgal says:

    What a great post, Donna, just love your writing!! As always, your photos are fantastic. You truly know how to capture these creatures!! Darn dog disrupting Duckdom, say that ten times!!!

  9. I too love the first photo! All of great, but that pair just grabbed me.
    Why can’t some people just enjoy what is without causing a ruckus. Like the people who have to knock stuff over. Ugh.

  10. Annette says:

    Stunning pics as always, Donna! And I would have been very mad with dog and owner – pity the geese didn’t pick it up and take it away to Canada ;)

  11. The ducks probably had heard of Canada’s reputation of humane treatment for refugees.

  12. cindy knoke says:

    Ohhhh these are wonderful! kudos~

  13. alesiablogs says:

    Donald Duck would be proud! You go girl!

  14. Eulalia says:

    Poor dog with such a bad man around him.

  15. janechese says:

    I accidently flushed out two mallards (a Pair) when I went to a neighbourhood park. I was surprised to see them there because it was the middle of winter, in Alberta and the temperature was -20 celsius or -4 F -they were just sitting in the snow. I never saw them much after that, they finally found another place to hang out. We spot 5-7 Robins at the Christmas bird count that overwinter in one ravine here.And by the way, I do not want the dog here. I love dogs but I hate them harassing wildlife.Behind every bad dog is a bad owner.

  16. bittster says:

    I guess I can’t pass any judgements…. I allow my children to run through the seagull flocks resting on the beach parking lot (no leash on them either, although I hope they are more tastefully dressed)

    Interesting comment above on how widespread Canadian geese have become. Invasive species are always interesting to me, and to see N American species like grey squirrels, raccoons, and monarch butterflies showing up around the globe reminds me that the door swings both ways.
    Frank

    • Shame on you. :grin: I did that as a kid too with gulls. It’s maybe the reason I photograph so many now. Those geese really get around. I bet Canada was glad to let some go find “greener pastures”, literally.

  17. Pat says:

    What gorgeous photos.

  18. Great photos, and I enjoyed the narratives. Blessings, Natalie :)

  19. Fantastic captures of your ducks and birds in flight. I saw a photo this week of the frozen Niagara Falls on the weather channel. Wow, what an amazing sight.

    • Thank you and glad to see you again. It never really froze much different than it does each year we have cold weather, but for some reason, this year it made headlines because of the arctic chill that came our way – like many places.

  20. dear donna…i have been thinking of you all week…after i read about your kindness to the birds and feeding them in the cold winter…you know the lord cares for every little sparrow and i am sure that he was very pleased that you care for them too and it is just not words of caring but you also brought them food…i should of commented then but after my husband and i read that beautiful post we have been thinking of you.
    after we saw this post and read your words, bernie was so pleased, he loves ducks of any make!
    your story here was just like we were with you!..that yappy little dog sure is a little monster and his father sure does teach him bad things…the little sissy, dressed all up in a fancy suit and all!
    there have been so many ducks here…we see them all over!….just this week a flock of them landed in the welland canal for a bit of rest and unfortunately they were frozen right in the water and they couldn’t move…a passer by saw what had happened and so he phoned the 911 of the humane society. they came down and even though it was deathly cold they went into the waters to save the ducks…unfortunately they were a few ducks that passed away but most of the birds survived….i am thinking that the reason the ducks have stayed this year is because last year was such a mild winter….my sister grace takes mom golden down to the canal in nice weather and they feed the ducks,….they ARE noisy, eh donna but they are such a beautiful bird and never do harm to anything.
    donna, we feed the birds during the winter but we stop when spring comes because they have no
    protection from the mean cats in the neighbourhood.
    donna, i really believe that birds of a family know exactly when one has passed away, like those ducks that were saved would miss the ones that were gone.
    one time when woolworth used to sell birds, [budgie] birds] when they were all in the big cage, they would chirp their heads off, making a whole lot of racket in their section of the store….well one time there was a bird chosen by a customer to be sold. they put the little bird into a small box and took it away…how amazed and sad i was to see that all of a sudden there was the sound of silence in the cage and all the birds were looking into each others eyes, sad eyes because one of their “family” was gone!…donna, trust me, i felt their sadness!
    well here i have been talking so much again but i must end by thanking you for your most beautiful posts…i wonder dear donna if god meant besides people did he mean even the little animals when he wrote this verse in the bible, .. Matthew 10:42
    And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
    because he does also say;
    Matthew 10:29
    29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
    you get so much joy looking after the wild animals donna and your posts bring joy to us…..love terry

    • I did read of the ducks that got frozen to the ice. I did not know they were rescued, that is wonderful. I never heard the story of the birds in Woolworths. That is really very sad to think they have such emotional feelings for their flock mates. I wish there was something to be done for the ducks though, but people are not allowed to feed them. I see them not getting food and it is sad. Ducks are such pleasant birds. Thank you for commenting Terry.

  21. A.M.B. says:

    Wow, what amazing pictures! I particularly love the first two images. I hope you had a great weekend!

  22. meghan80 says:

    Incredible photos!

  23. Oh my, the dog chasing the ducks story is frustrating! I don’t blame the dog, but the owner sure should know better! Argh! I love the way you say they headed for Canada–which is just across the water from you. :)

  24. mariekeates says:

    I’m not sure why some dog owners are so thoughtless and cruel. There seems to be a lot of it about though. Dogs running free make like hard for walkers like me and runners like Commando too, even more so for small children.

  25. Fossillady says:

    Most annoying dog owner . . . I get frustrated sometimes at the beach when little boys chase the seagulls settling down on their rightful shoreline! I just want to tell them to leave well enough alone, but then I leave it well enough alone instead! Oh well

  26. I love your stories Donna…you capture the moment. I do not like when pet owners don’t take care of their animals.

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