Mallards and the Wind.

A Mallard flew past the water-side window with the wind to its back, my estimated speed would be in the 50+ miles per hour. It took about 1/1000 of a second to get past. He got tangled up in the wind when he gained altitude by the bend 100 yards South. As he rose above the far side Levee top the wind must have been turbulent because he nearly tumbled head over tail while in a spiral body move. True to form he just kept going really fast to somewhere.

This is an older photo taken April 15, 2022, this Mallard was against the wind making a shot at 20 mph much easier then the super-sonic speed when the wind is too his back.

I haven’t seen the Ducklings since the winds picked up a week or so ago, I saw just one the other day. At that time I wrote it worried me because a lone days old Duckling on the water is not good. I can speculate all I want but I didn’t feel good about it then nor now; I fear Wild Cats, Fox and Coyotes.

The mating pairs eggs had hatched the day this was taken; the ducklings were on the water the next day. They were swimming around last week around the bend where the water is calm. It’s difficult to tell because there were two broods within 100yards of one another. When the wind is too high they stay in the Tules, the Ducklings may be holed up in them or in the ponds on the Levee’s far side; that makes more sense.

However the Males don’t stick around long after they hatch; that is best left to the female; I suppose he figures. The Males are mean old grouchy dudes during mating they will fight with anyone on the water, when it’s done they flake off.

A little known fact about the Males, they cannot quack, that’s right a duck with no quacker. I surely am not able to explain it. He’s ornery; I suppose it’s easier to be an old crank than pleasant.

It is nice when they arrive on the slough around the first of April they add a lot of action after the dreary winter. Some years they are front stage but this year not too many had nest on our Slough. It may perhaps be last years brood did not survive the migration leaving no one to return. It’s sad but that’s nature.

The lone Female Mallard is the real hero of this species, without her there would be no Mallards.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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