Saturday, May 26, 2007

Eleanor Tauber Catches the Frick Ducklings Coming In for the NIght

During the early evening one independent Frick Duckling spent quite some time by himself on the float in the Model Boat Pond.
(Why are they called the Frick Ducklings? The Mallards tend not to have successful nests in the Model Boat Pond area of Central Park due to predation by dogs, raccoons, and intrusive humans. A number of years ago a clever Mallard Hen nested a few blocks away on the grounds of the Frick Museum on the other side of Fifth Avenue. She then chose to move her ducklings to water during the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The parade was stopped long enough for her and her brood to cross Fifth Avenue. She got her ducklings into the Model Boat Pond, the only successful clutch in our neck of the woods. Every year since then, a mallard hen appears with her string of ducklings, sometimes seen crossing the Avenue and sometimes not, but it's believed by many to be the same Frick Mallard Hen doing what has worked for her in years past.)

Here comes the Frick Hen with the other nine ducklings.


Plus Mom.

Seven...Eleanor Tauber said she did count all 10 ducklings eventually although they’re not all up on the float as yet in these photos.
Donegal Browne


Anonymous said...

Where's the Dad duck?

Donegal Browne said...

Where's the Dad duck? Excellent question. When it comes to Mallards, Mom is on her own when it comes to brooding eggs and raising young.

Possibly an adaptation as they are ground nesters without the least protection from predators beyond secrecy. You've heard the phrase, "sitting duck". Switching back and forth between the parents might give the nest location away. Even so, at least 40% of Mallard nests fail so Frick Hen is far above the average when it comes to success.