My sudden introduction into an environment where the predominant visual activity of a daily nature was Mallard duck mating, nesting, nurturing and resting - much of it happening in the stretch of the San Antonio River flowing directly below the 2nd floor open air patio or in the building now called home. The access to this sundeck was less than twenty feet (20') from the front door of my new downtown efficiency apartment. The OUTSTANDING downtown tourist attraction, the San Antonio , is also immediately below us on the other side of the San Antonio River. Thousands of tourists (and some residents) use in every day of the year. The duck behaviors in the river and along the Riverwalk are so frequent and repetitive as to be easily tracked, correlated and taken as typical. Observations have been recorded in the hundreds of pictures and videos taken since November 2011 and uploaded to the internet. Some of the video recordings are more important for the narratives within them that describe the actions happening than for the too distant to be clear actions themselves.
In any case, after observing (and estimating) more than 100 duckling hatchings per month along the San Antonio Riverwalk since I've moved here, it can be said that fewer than than two percent (2%) of them survive long enough to fledge or take flight and learn how to survive into a lengthy adulthood here in San Antonio requiring no migration to a better climate.
Thursday 22nd: Well the three ducks who live in the reeds & other vegetations across from our sundeck have 10 ducklings added to their expanding family - I'll have to research the life cycles of ducks, now - they replacing the time & attention I used to pay to cats and their kittens back in Milwaukee. The sundeck just down the hall from my apartment makes it easy to observe them (or check the weather to see how to dress before leaving the building) while they paddle around in the river.
I had thought that the 3 ducks in the San Antonio River below us were an added benefit of living here. It wasn't until the 10 ducklings were hatched on Dec. 21st and disappeared the next day that I looked up to discover that the entire process had been witnessed - INCLUDING THE MATING that occurred while another new neighbor (and lifelong San Antonian) and I were discussing my learning about ducks (after having become an expert on kittens the past several years in Milwaukee) - the male (drake) and female (duck) ducks proceeded to couple for several seconds right below us.
The Mama, Papa and Uncle Ducks were hanging around the vegetation across the river from our 2nd floor sundeck since I began staying here because they were pairing off and nesting to allow the female to lay one egg a day until all 10 were ready to be incubated for 20 to 28 days until they hatched on December 21st - meaning the female began laying them about 38 days earlier around Nov 13th. In any case, none of the ducks have been seen below us since the Dec 22nd. The ducklings may be hiding underneath concrete decking across the river for the two months it will take to fledge and grow wings. That will be confirmed when they are seen again when finally taking flight at the end of the next two months.
Thursday 29th: The male Mallard who first appeared to sit and quack along the Riverwalk yesterday is paired up with a female this morning - the female following the male to sit nearby. This signaling the initiation of another approximately 40 day pairing, mating, nesting and multiple egg hatching cycle for our local . Both were gone by 9:30 am but returned by 2:00 pm to check out the nesting area and mate immediately thereafter. The mating/coupling was preceded by the male swimming around the female for a few seconds before mounting her for another couple seconds - it a WHAM, BAM, THANK-YOU MAM kind of exercise. (video 0:55 of 12/19/12) The male preened himself much more than the female after it was over. They both disappeared again by 3:30 pm - just as I went down bridge to get a closer and better picture of them sitting together while the male slept (head under his wing) and the female kept watch over their chosen nesting area - the exact same area where the last batch of 10 ducklings were hatched last week.
So, the first egg may be laid tomorrow with more to follow ?depending upon the weather? - with hatching to ensue 20 to 28 days after the last egg is laid in another one to 12+ days. We'll probably be able to tell when eggs are in the nest when only one of them disappears to go off feeding somewhere else along the river.
Friday 30th: Mama & Papa duck were back this morning and swam to my voice from the sundeck around 8:30 am and stuck around long enough for me to take the close-up pictures shortly thereafter - the male in the process of chasing away some other males as I arrived at the riverwalk. His job appears to be the primary guardian of the nest and eggs - probably only leaving to feed when the female is strong enough to replace him in that function.
Both left the area before 10:30 am. A male showed up in the afternoon with a distinctive white bordered tail - me not knowing whether it was the same or another and subsequently discovering that most, if not all male Mallards, have white tipped tails.
Saturday 31st: No ducks around at 6:30 am but several males were seen swimming by at 7:30, when all of a sudden they flew and/or paddled quickly to converge upon a female in heat swimming north up the river along the west bank just south of the Dolorosa bridge - she presumably announcing herself but not loudly enough for me to notice from my sundeck vantage point. Other males flew or paddled to her until there were more than a half-dozen or so in the duck version of a gang-bang. Spent quite a bit of time on the sundeck in the afternoon and noticed quite a few ducks flying through the airspace above the river and bridges - one with bright turquoise wing streaks that would have made a great inflight picture if ... " + "
Monday 2nd: " + " H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !!" + "
It's still too early to tell whether the latest pair or ducks to be" + " hanging around and inspecting the" + fpom + "sat/duck1d30nest.jpg'>reeds across the river have already" + " established a nest with" + fpom + "sat/duckeggs.jpg'>eggs in it - not seeing any ducks could just" + " mean that one is hidden in the reeds while the other is out feeding." + "
Tuesday 3rd: Noticed" + fpom + "sat/duck1d28.jpg'>Mama and Papa duck sitting together near" + " their presumed" + fpom + "sat/duck1d30nest.jpg'>nesting area at 11 pm last night -" + " neither was seen yesterday or this morning at 6:30 am. But, either" + " or both them are seen enough on and off during the rest of the day for me" + " to presume that egg laying and nest guarding has begun - Uncle duck was" + " around for a while yesterday." + "
Monday 16th: The usual" + " gathering of ducks were seen at the normal spots along the Riverwalk" + " south of the Nueva Street dam/spillway. Saw one (or two) young" + fpom + "sat/duck2116.jpg'>ducklings, floating stationary and alone near" + " the other, adult pairings - the picture of the 2nd loner not good enough" + " to include in that collage." + "
But, the first ducks seen were a mama duck and 5 brand new hatchlings" + " followed by two adult males who were both attempting to mate again with" + " the mom - she chasing them away and even jumping up onto land near where" + " I was standing to get away from them - me chastizing the males for not" + " letting mama take care of her hatchlings - they behaving like they knew" + " they were doing something wrong. I got a video of them after" + " that, but the mating behavior wasn't in it. " + fyou + "829PYTe2q7U>(mating video 0:55 of 12/19/12) In any case, the little" + " ducklings can be seen keeping up with mama no matter how fast she moved -" + " not caught was an instance of them moving toward rather than away from my" + " voice - they new to everything in their environment and maybe thinking I" + " was just another form of 'mama-quacking' helping them learn their new" + " navigating around water behavior. It appears that once they learn" + " how to navigate (paddle) on their own, the mama takes them to some as yet" + " undiscovered hiding place to grow until they can fly or survive without" + " her. Or, these hatchlings are all being eaten or otherwise" + " eliminated by some as yet undiscovered predator within days of hatching." + " Only time will tell - I expect to see dozens of young ducklings all" + " over the river within the next 60 days." + "
Friday 20th: Ducks were on the" + " agenda, yesterday. The first" + fpom + "sat/duck2119.jpg'>dark brown (presumably Mallard) duck was seen" + " with the usual group of other Mallards resting along their usual locale" + " just south of the first dam/waterfall at Nueva and before Cesar Chavez" + " (formerly Durango) Blvd. - That duck is completely" + fpom + "sat/duck2120.jpg'>dark brown except for the white on his right" + "wing noted in the first picture taken yesterday." + fscr + "monduck('feb','00')" + "
Wednesday 1st: Four just" + " hatched ducklings were in the river below our" + " sundeck yesterday morning - videos have been uploaded to" + fpof + "http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?feature=mhee') ID=15cc>YouTube." + " Also noticed a half-dozen or more ?ready to hatch?" + fpom + "sat/duck2131eggs.jpg'>duck eggs visible from above. A" + fnew + "duck.htm ID=m>MALLARD GROWTH CHART, similar to the" + fpof + "growcat.htm','60','50') ID=hv>KITTEN GROWTH CHART formalized on 6/14/10," + " has now been created - more than a dozen videos taken are also not on" + fpof + "http://www.youtube.com/user/benzdumb?feature=mhee','60','50')" + " ID=15cc>YouTube." + "
Monday 20th: Uploaded another" + fyou + "SGJXh-2EwSA>video of Ducks, a ?bird? and a turtle taken where" + fpom + "sat/duck2220.jpg'>Apache Creek merges into Alazon Creek." + "
Tuesday 28th: Walked up to" + " the Pearl Brewery complex along the Riverwalk this afternoon and did not" + " see any young, close to fledging (wings grown enough to allow flight)" + " ducks as others had said there would be. Later in the afternoon," + " down below Guenther Street, while taking a " + fyou + "c9HkAcfXGKg>video of some males bothering a female, along came" + " a couple women with their dogs, the unleased" + fpom + "sat/duck2228dog.jpg'>black lab chased the ducks into the water" + " and did his best to prove his duck retrieving worthiness while staying" + " on dry land - the ducks were completely safe." + fscr + "monduck('mar','00')" + "
Thursday 15th: Saw another" + fpom + "sat/bird2314.jpg'> dark brown orblack duck with white tipping" + " similar to the one photographed on January" + fpom + "sat/duck2119.jpg'>19th and" + fpom + "sat/duck2120.jpg'>20th." + "
Saturday 24th: Got off the #51" + " bus at the Blue Star Arts complex to walk back and discovered" + fpom + "sat/duck2324.jpg'>six (6) hatchlings" + fyou + "r-A_KNrSVVk>(vid-1)" + fyou + "VxSLTXY6Cdk>(vid-2) around the same spot where" + fpom + "sat/duck2323.jpg'>three (3) hatchlings" + fyou + "I6MFtAT1Fkk>(video) were seen yesterday." + "
Wednesday 28th: Video taped" + fyou + "QAVE6nMLvCQ>(a sole hatchling) among at least seven adults, two" + " of which were undoubtedly the mama and papa ducks and, near that same" + " spot earlier on my noon bike ride to the library, a video of" + fyou + "LARouypZFv0>(four hatchlings) being taken to nap under" + " mama while papa paddled around on sentry duty." + fscr + "monduck('apr','00')" + "
Wednesday 4th: Spotted a mama" + " duck successfully teaching 3 hatchlings how to nibble for nutrition along" + " the cement river wall while her other 2 'hardheads' wasted their time" + " paddling for nutrition amongst the leaf and other debris in the middle of" + " the river" + fyou + "wn1kZ6WKcgk>(video) - leadership/alpha tendencies in" + " hatchlings may not be as beneficial as followership, at least within the" + " first few days, anyway." + "
Thursday 5th: Yet another" + fpom + "sat/duck2404.jpg'>batch of ten (10) hatchlings" + fyou + "W-kva2imeQc>(video) has paddled down below us to hang" + " out at the popular rock napping spot across the river below our" + " sundeck - retrieved the" + fpom + "sat/duck2404.jpg'>photo of them being noticed by the Riverwalking" + " family from the shortest of three videos taken yesterday that weren't" + " uploaded or saved - the one taken this morning is much closer & better." + " Saw them this morning on the other side of the Dolorosa bridge" + " after noticing all the noise and activity associated with the Riverwalk" + " cleaning crew at their napping location below us" + fyou + "qt561KFgays>(video). These ten (10) must have" + " been hatched Monday or Tuesday at another nesting spot away from us." + "
Saturday 7th: Late afternoon," + " while walking with my next door neighbor up to his car parked in the main" + " library garage (for a trip to Sam's Club), the first sightings of" + " ducklings in the northern Riverwalk area were witnessed by me (took the" + " videos on the way back)" + fyou + "uRieAo1fwxM>(video 1)" + fyou + "Fr11UyNffDU>(video 2) - they looked to be from 5 to 8" + " days old but it's hard to tell without knowing the hatching date. " + " Being a life-long San Antonian, my neighbor had seen them in that area" + " many times. Haven't seen the" + fpom + "sat/duck2404.jpg'>younger batch of ten since Wednesday the 4th." + "
Sunday 8th: My Easter Sunday" + fitew + "m','walk') discovered yet another" + fpom + "sat/duck2408.jpg'>six (6) hatchling" + fitew + "m','duck') between the Nueva and Cesar Chavez" + " bridges - these the very first seen with Mama having all her duck(ling)s" + " in a row." + fscr + "icon('wink') " + "
Tuesday 10th: Took pictures in" + " order to make an" + fpom + "sat/duck2410mapa+.jpg'>identification collage of the pair of" + " Mallards that have been nesting and presumably laying" + fpom + "sat/duckeggs.jpg'>eggs below us since April 1st - the pigeons" + " appear to be following me around, so that one is included as one nesting" + " in our building and making appearances on our sundeck during the day - it" + " maybe a Hollywood director in a prior life wanting to make sure I was" + " doing my camera work correctly." + fscr + "icon('wink')" + "
Stopped to get good still photos to make a" + fpom + "sat/duck2409.jpg'>collage of the 2 blonde ?Mallards?" + fyou + "eidORPBxgzM>(video)" + fyou + "Ki-z_Tvl50Q>(older Mar 16th video), along with a normally" + " colored Mallard. They waddled right up as I parked the bike and" + " began talking to them just after noon, yesterday - they obviously thought" + " I was someone else who was going to feed them. The small white" + " billed black duck" + fyou + "bgJnTmKwvfM>(3/16 video) can be seen in this video, too. " + " The other inset photo in the collage is not clear but shows a very dark" + " bodied, normally green headed Mallard with another regularly colored" + " Mallard eating the algae off the cement wall on the other side of" + " the river - the" + fpom + "sat/duck2120.jpg'>previously spotted dark " + fpom + "sat/duck2119.jpg'>duck(s) DID NOT HAVE green heads." + "
Thursday 12th: So, wanting some" + " walking versus biking exercise and figuring my almost becoming" + " an obsession duck(ling) video taping is pretty much winding down for" + " having already recorded almost every instance of 'unique' behavior, a" + " southern Riverwalk was taken. HAH! There were" + fpom + "sat/duck2412.jpg'>33 ducklings in seven groups encountered. " + " Also found the" + fpom + "sat/duck2412dark.jpg'>dark duck with green neck paddling with" + " another male close enough to get a better picture than before. The" + " last batch of" + fpom + "sat/duck2412trapped.jpg'>5 ducklings" + fyou + "jnDVF_P4o-M>(video) were just becoming trapped in the" + " landscaped spillway on the east side of the modern walkway at the Blue" + " Star Arts complex - Mama following them down to lead them back up onto" + " dry ledges but then not knowing how to get them back the rest of the way." + " The ducklings follow her quacking, so she needed to get to the flat" + " step-stone rocks west of the ducklings. Even after I left and there" + " were no other pedestrians maybe scaring her (she's been used to them" + " walking past 24-7-365 before they hatched) she didn't move to lead them" + " out with her quacking. In any case, the River Authority may need to" + " place some fine mesh fish nets above both the east and west spillways," + " especially during peak hatching season right now, in order to minimize" + " these trappings in the future." + "
The one and six separate ducklings had combined into one group of seven" + " on the return walk past them - the others, especially the nine, were not" + " seen. At the" + fpom + "sat/duck2412Nueva-dam.jpg'>Nueva Street Dam" + fyou + "gSVAuOaQTSA>(video), I was surprised to find two Mama" + " ducks, one with one and one with five ducklings paddlings in the churning" + " water below the spillway - those numbers didn't match the groups of six," + " two and four (or five) seen the first time - maybe some drowned in the" + " churning water." + "
Friday 13th: Noticed a Mama" + " with four (4) ducklings a little below and paddling away from the" + " churning water below the spillway." + "
Saturday 14th: Found yet" + " another batch of four (4) brand new hatchlings" + fyou + "Ji_5IqkOFuE>(video) staying so close to Mama that she" + " couldn't get them to learn how to eat the algae off the river walls but" + " did get them to follow her quacking to jump (one after the 3rd attempt)" + " up onto the prime napping spot noted in a previous collage of" + fpom + "sat/duck2329.jpg'>another batch of ducklings hatched somewhere" + " around the southern (or northern) Riverwalk bends. Also recorded" + " were the usual Uncle duck helping Papa duck keep the Raper duck away from" + " Mama - the latter duck appears to show up like clockwork just after new" + " hatchlings appear." + "
Tuesday 17th: Taking a walk" + " along the northern bend of the Riverwalk, including the new 'T' shaped" + " section going up to the River Center Mall, another large group of" + fpom + "sat/duck2417seven.jpg'>seven ducklings were discovered thereat" + " that I mistakenly thought (at first) were part of the March 28th" + " hatchlings - it should have been obvious (to me) that these were too" + " small to be 20 days old, but" + fscr + "icon('cestlavie'), my brain ain't as fast as it used to be." + "
Thursday 19th: During a walk" + " along the northern Riverwalk and being a little slow to whip my camera" + " out, an also typical, post-mating" + fpom + "sat/dgbang.jpg'>duck gang-bang was captured on" + fyou + "IQiE3p9pF08>(video) - both the mating and the next" + " day's gang-bang were witnessed and reported in this blog back on" + fnew + "ben11d15.htm#11d31>December 31st, 2011. While returning" + " from my Riverwalk along the opposite bank (east side), four of the males" + fpom + "sat/dpreen.jpg'>preening themselves was also captured on" + fyou + "Scsvbz6XNMo>(video) at the gang-bang location. " + " That same sort of post-sex preening was also reported on in this blog on" + fnew + "ben11d15.htm#11d29>Dec 29th and another instance was" + fyou + "ScCi5orNP1w>(video taped) on Dec 30th, albeit by" + " the male and female (instead of the gang-bangers) who had just had 3" + " seconds of seeminly enjoyable sex - it was this female who was presumed" + " to have invited the gang-bang by quacking loudly for attention. It" + " may be some sort of survival ritual for the adult hatch-mates of Papa" + " duck to participate in group sex after their successful mating so that" + " they might more readily accept the eventual ducklings and/or help Papa" + " protect Mama during the egg laying and incubation period. It is" + " typical for another male (Uncle duck) to accompany Papa duck while he is" + " on guard around Mama while she lays one egg per day and/or sits on the" + " nest - it is not known whether this other male is the same one of just" + " one among several of Papa's hatch-mates." + "
Finally also got a better picture of the now presumed (she being with" + " an obviously colored male for once)" + fpom + "sat/duck2418b&wpair.jpg'>female black & white duck almost" + " always seen every time I take a northern Riverwalk - she was too far on" + " the other side of the bank for the still pictures taken and is moving" + " around too much for even this picture, but this one is close enough to" + " show her coloring." + "
The bike ride (to the library) along the southern Riverwalk just beyond" + " the Nueva Street dam and before the small cut-out wading pool" + fyou + "ZAEVHs_n8hA>(video) that is" + " half-way between the dam and Cesar Chavez (Durango) Street found" + fpom + "sat/duck2419four.jpg'>4 two to three week old ducklings" + fyou + "8wSeCSJyUjE>(video) that were undoubtedly among the" + fpom + "sat/duck2412.jpg'>seven separate batches of ducklings seen last" + " week on the 12th - hell if I know which batch, though. At Guenther" + " Street/House, another batch of" + fpom + "sat/duck2419five.jpg'>five few day old new hatchlings" + fyou + "Mwcyxux8PWM>(video) were also seen." + "
Sunday 22nd: During several" + " trips along that southern section of the Riverwalk yesterday:
In addition to the above referenced pictures and videos, late Saturday" + " afternooon, I took a" + fyou + "9N1VceVk44U>(video) of a Mallard pair treating the" + " Nueva dam spillway as some sort of" + fiesta + "carnival ride." + "
Wednesday 25th: Found a dead" + fpom + "sat/duck2425dead.jpg'>duckling carcass on the brick paved path" + " leading up to the Nueva dam overlook along the west side of the southern" + " Riverwalk - first dead duck found be me. A grackle was pecking at" + " it while I biked up and didn't want to stick around to become part of" + " another photo exibiting the pecking - maybe that grackle was wanted by" + " the FBI or some other of the more than 7 dozen arms carrying agencies of" + " our federal government." + "
A photo" + fpom + "sat/duck2424(401).jpg'>collage showing prospective Mama and the" + " nest upon which she sits almost 24/7 has finally been created - the" + fpom + "sat/duckeggs.jpg'>eggs first seen yesterday morning - presuming" + " that egg laying stopped on March 11th and that up to nine could be there," + " the hatching date could be around Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) - an auspicious" + " and easy date to remember for this latest batch of completely tracked" + " ducklings." + "
Two new hatches of ten (10) ducklings were discovered; the first seen" + " Monday along the" + fpom + "sat/duck2423ten.jpg'>southern Riverwalk; and the second seen" + " yesterday morning along the" + fpom + "sat/duck2424ten.jpg'>northern bend of the Riverwalk - the" + fyou + "vrWgDw8gJis>(video) of the latter showing yet another" + " attack by a lone plain looking drake on Mama while she's shepherding her" + " ducklings - a river boat also ran over several of the ducklings and maybe" + " one or more of the Uncle/Papa ducks." + "
Monday 30th: The two new three" + " day old ducklings and their Mama & Papa are now hanging out in the" + fpom + "sat/duck1d30nest.jpg'>preferred nesting/napping area on the" + " other side of the river below our sundeck." + fscr + "monduck('may','00')" + "
Tuesday 1st: Saw" + fpom + "sat/duck2429thirteen.jpg'>thirteen new ducklings" + fyou + "ZrZ5NwatWMk>(video) along the southern Riverwalk on" + " Sunday and Monday - the latter day being the first time I've ever seen" + " ducklings up on the grass in a napping group (instead of in the hidden" + " brush.) That Mama and Papa were the last ones seen resting along" + " that very popular locale below H-E-B HQ in the old Arsenal complex. " + " By today there were only 11 left, but they are as friendly as their Mama" + fyou + "3Elnrno_AgU>(video-4)" + fyou + "Ysh24f1FUBI>(video-3)" + fyou + "1w-h-k7dD-8>(video-2)" + fyou + "ZrZ5NwatWMk>(video-1). Raper duck is also in" + " many of the videos - chased away by both Mama & Papa and being held at" + " a distance by Papa - he is apparently the designated attacker along both" + " the northern and southern and downtown loop sections of the Riverwalk." + "
Thursday 3rd: Could only count" + " eight" + fpom + "sat/duck2429thirteen.jpg'>of the 13 hatched on Sunday below the" + " old Arsenal complex on the way to the library just before noon - the count" + " was down to one the next day (Friday), with the" + fpom + "sat/duck2425dead.jpg'>fresh, dead carcass of another" + " laying next to the river bank." + "
Saturday 5th: Noticed another" + " Mama & Papa and THIRTEEN ducklings (from the Dolorosa bridge) below our" + " sundeck late in the afternoon - took a picture for future reference but" + " am not uploading these redundant occurrences of ducklings that will never" + " be seen again. There were also another three along the southern" + " Riverwalk in this category. The one left of the" + fpom + "sat/duck2429thirteen.jpg'>thirteen hatched on Sunday, Apr 29th" + " disappeared from the middle of the river while I was temporarily looking" + " elsewhere - the disappearance of all thirteen of those ducklings from a" + " seemingly experienced pair of adult ducks BEFORE THEIR ONE WEEK hatching" + " anniversary is a sad and almost depressing experience." + "
Had a false alarm around 6:15 last night. A" + " large batch of new ducklings was seen along the" + fpom + "sat/duck2404.jpg'>nesting area on the other side of the river" + " below our" + " sundeck - me immediately thinking the pair we'd" + " been watching since April 1st and expectimg to hatch this weekend had" + " done so. But, after I went down to capture them in a " + fpom + "sat/duck2504twelve.jpg'>still picture and" + fyou + "b_J-jxhTzeY>(video) AND seeing the 'for real'" + fpom + "sat/duck2424(401).jpg'>Mama still sitting on her nest at the" + " usual location AND watching that 2 minute recording, it was obvious this" + " batch of twelve cute little ducklings was just another among several" + " hundred hatched over the past half-year that may never see a second week" + " of life. (" + fscr + "icon('cestlavie') in the world of Mallards around" + " here. The narrative in that video is wrong as to the 'just hatched'" + " nature of the ducklings and as to them gathering around one of the" + " FOUR Survivor Ducks instead of their similarly sized Mama" + " - one of those pre-flight ducks appears at the beginning of the video" + " but, unseen by me while concentrating the camera on the ducklings, it did" + " not turn around to follow them as I'd thought was happening at the" + " time. )" + "
Wednesday 9th: The large" + fpics+ "m','Black ?female?','sat/duck','2509dark','2412dark','2120','2119') " + " and ?her? presumed mate paddled near enough to get more good close-ups" + fyou + "t42uRfViGEA>(video). Will be astonished to" + " discovered hatchlings from this odd pairing. " + fbenw + " I may have the sexes reversed but won't know until one (the female) is" + " 'consistently' witnessed leading/following a bunch of hatchlings around" + " the river some day." + fbend + "
Around 4 pm Monday, what I thought were the March 13th hatchlings" + " preening at their favorite wading pool turned out to be the unusual" + " sighting of" + fpom + "sat/duck2507x4female.jpg'>four adult females all together at" + " one spot in relatively tight formation - brown camouflage colored females" + " are usually only seen with one or more males or when contesting another" + " female for the same male. In other words, that was another unusual" + " sighting of Mallard duck behavior that had me fooled for a couple hours." + "
Tuesday 14th: Yet another group" + " of survivor ducklings," + fpom + "sat/duck2424ten.jpg'>hatching (presumably) on April 24th" + fyou + "vrWgDw8gJis>(video4/24)" + fyou + "xNwbVvEn1K0>(video5/13), have survived long enough" + " to have their recordings uploaded and behaviors tracked - they reached" + " three (3) weeks today. This Mama & Papa are obviously a pair with" + " more experience in nurturing their ducklings toward maturity - the" + " evidence of their teaching the ducklings to eat the algae off the river" + " walls ASAP can be seen in the 4/24 video. They also appear to know" + " that the ?25 foot? deep straight shot of river between the northern and" + " southern bends of the Riverwalk (created in ?1921?) may be a" + " safer place to keep them away from predators and the riverboats that" + " proliferate in the more narrow and shallow confines of the historical and" + " mostly tourist associated 'horse shoe' section. " + fbenw + "The tight formation proximity with which they attach themselves to" + " Mama that can be seen in the" + fyou + "vrWgDw8gJis>(4/24 video) is an indicator of their" + " being just hours away from hatching out of their eggs." + fbend + "
Yesterday, after seeing another batch of" + fpom + "sat/duck2514.jpg'>eight maybe 2 week old 'surviving' ducklings" + fyou + "7JDUPrHNlKQ>(video) with Mama on Navarro Island under" + " the bridge thereat, I decided to upload their record of survival - they" + " were first noticed on that island last Friday." + "
Wednesday 23rd: About 7 am, the" + fpom + "sat/duck2523.jpg'>four 'apparent' survivors" + fyou + "Q8xWdeoU65o>(video) of the" + fpom + "sat/duck2424ten.jpg'>ten previously thought to have been hatched" + " on April 24th are very obviously at least 5 weeks old and more likely" + " hatched on or before April 18th. The normally brown & white flecked" + " bodies (like female adults), proportioned bodies (not gangly) but still" + " tiny wings give them away - next week their wings should be much larger." + " A fellow animal enthusiast and visitor from" + fnew + "www.tinkerkennel.com>Pierre, SD who was encountered along the" + " Riverwalk while these record(ing)s were being made said that a small duck" + " fell into their river tour boat the prior day (Monday). From his" + " description of it, it had to have been one of the developmentally stunted" + fpom + "sat/duck2411ma4.jpg'>four week old looking hatchmates" + fyou + "1mnkSMWF3Fo>(video) of these more developmentally in" + " tune pre-flight ducklings. Presumably, a large bird snatched it out" + " of the river and then dropped it while in flight or while manipulating it" + " on the branch of a tree. " + fbenw + "Alternatively, these 'four survivors' could be younger and more" + " normally developed and the presumed normally developed 'base-line' group" + " developmentally stunted on the day their "KNOWN AGE" pictures" + " were taken; but, I don't think so." + fbend + "
Friday 25th: " + fpom + "sat/duck2522nine.jpg'>Mama & nine (9) hatchlings of 5/22" + " are still making a home in the favored nesting/napping/feeding area below" + " us across the river - they scattered out all over between the two banks" + " and bridges on their 4th day in the river. Some of them are even" + " venturing out on their own to feed - I'll still be surprised to see any" + " of them survive into next week. Didn't see them all together again" + " later today nor Saturday morning." + "
Tuesday 29th: Noticed the now" + " common groups of ducklings just below the Nueva dam" + fyou + "6t_-qAdGEAo>(video) and had to rush to park my bike to" + " stop and record Mama of the" + fpom + "sat/duck2514.jpg'>8 Navarro island ducklings leading the 4 that" + " are left (after they all went over this past week) up to the" + " spillway, flying to the top and quacking to get them to follow her" + fyou + "GaqPs9yPaj0>(video). The poor little ducklings" + " can't fly and have to figure she wants them to paddle up to the top - they" + " probably are strong enough to NOT TIRE OUT AND DROWN during that" + " fruitless process. " + fbenw + "The ducklings can hardly be seen in the video just behind the" + " equally hard to discern Mama until she takes flight - the narrative" + " indicates what's about to happen just before it does." + fbend + " A better" + fyou + "_f-XANTwAmg>(video) was taken on April 26th of another" + fpom + "sat/duck2426.jpg'>Mama and her ducklings flying to the top and" + fpom + "sat/duck2412Nueva-dam.jpg'>others have been seen in the same" + " area as early as April 12th - meaning this going over the dam/spillway" + " is fairly common for Mamas who don't know enough to keep their ducklings" + " away from those parts of the river." + "
In any case, within a few minutes two paddled down to the small visitor" + " patio below the Wyndham and the other two came several minutes later -" + " allowing me to capture a close-up and very good 'base-line'" + fpom + "sat/duck2529(4wks).jpg'>FOUR (4) week photo" + fyou + "8_ufH7z4yXA>(video) of these ducklings that have been" + " trained very well by Mama to eat over the past month. " + fbenw + "This one is much better than" + fpom + "sat/duck2528.jpg'>yesterday's photo" + fyou + "T6dDkroP2dA>(video) at that same small patio below the" + " Wyndham Vacation Ownership building that's adjacent to the city, Nueva" + " dam/spillway and the Riverwalk boat storage and administrative buildings" + " at the corner of Dwyer & Nueva. Dwyer is the name of our street as" + " it continues south beyond our 2 block stretch named East Main Plaza - the" + " Main Plaza itself comprises the first block on the northern side between" + " Market and Commerce - it continues as Soledad from Commerce to the north" + " - Soledad is the street on which the Main Library is located and where I" + " have to vote if I don't pre-vote at Collins Garden Library." + fbend + "
The" + fpom + "sat/duck2519.jpg'>picture of four 'pre-flight' ducks sitting" + " on a 'close to the river' ledge of one of the arms of the hydraulic" + " machinery operating the dam proves that it is one of the few" + " resting/napping spots available to ducklings that can't fly or jump very" + " high from the water - these latest ducklings to be trapped in the lower" + " section of the river are doing likewise. When the river is an inch" + " or so lower, the ducklings can rest atop one of the edges of the many" + fpom + "sat/duck2422-9.jpg'>wading pools along the river between Nueva" + " and Guenther streets. A fifth 4 week old sized duckling was noticed" + " yesterday paddling toward the nearest wading pool across from Old" + " Guilbeau Street" + fyou + "lZssV2HbWjo>(video) - a recording made when it and the" + " other groups were spotted in this popular section of the river." + "
Wednesday 30th: Noticed the" + " usual assortment of young and adult ducks while doing my morning" + " exercises on our sundeck. Then, after processing the latest" + " batch of videos and photos for uploading to the internet and taking one" + " of several daily 'clear my head' breaks back onto the sundeck, I spotted" + fpom + "sat/duck2530.jpg'>Mama and ALL NINE (9) of her ducklings" + fyou + "hCuhomFxRH0>(video), now EIGHT (8) DAYS OLD, coming" + " around the southern bend of the Riverwalk. They eventually" + " scattered out all over the river between the bend and the Market Street" + " bridge - with the ninth maybe going too far. Mama soon gathered" + " together those she could (8 counted) and led them back to a" + fpom + "sat/duck2329.jpg'>safe napping spot where they climbed up" + fyou + "IfMShgJgim8>(video), dried off and gathered under her" + fyou + "rEvTQgHcJbc>(video) to nap and let all the algae" + " they'd just consumed grow their tiny bodies into something more capable" + " of eventual independence from all the predators in the river." + fbenw + "Similar videos of the 15 ducklings taken on March 29th are:" + f149 + fyou + "3K6mttmSBK0>one out 14 under" + f149 + fyou + "9WC6s1zI1z0>nap time" + f149 + fyou + "AxZDX6Y6mO0>nap time" + f149 + fbend + fscr + "monduck('jun','00')" + "
Saturday 2nd: The most" + " notable activity happening from June onward is that Papa ducks are no" + " longer seen accompanying Mama and the hatchlings - regardless of the age" + " of those ducklings." + "
Three of the" + fscr + "hatch('2313-15') may have been seen" + fpom + "sat/duck2602.jpg'>just north of and under" + fpom + "sat/brackenbridge.jpg'>BrackenBridge" + fntt + "youtu.be/W_HQYjv8rK4>(video-north)" + fntt + "youtu.be/YdO784azeOA>(video-south) at the same time another" + fpom + "sat/duck2602six&4.jpg'>Mama & six 2 dayers met a Mama & four 5" + " dayers in that far northern section of the Riverwalk." + "
The Mama and 9 hatchlings of March 22nd are now down to just" + fpom + "sat/duck2601.jpg'>six" + fntt + "youtu.be/GXP-0qwT_Tw>(video). These are the" + fpom + "sat/duck2522nine.jpg'>batch of ducklings used to exemplify the" + " new hatchling behavior patterns with two uploads to" + fntt + "www.youtube.com/user/benzdumb?feature=mhee ID=hv>YouTube: the" + " first showing the" + fntt + "youtu.be/tbwMbTVbRUw>hatchlings staying close to Mama" + " immediately after she introduced them to paddling in the river; and the" + " second taken before that hour was out of them" + fntt + "youtu.be/_Pk-fZOCEFk>scattered around her and feeling very" + " comfortable with their new surroundings. Their continuing habits of" + " eating algae off the river walls and then" + fpom + "sat/duck2530.jpg'>following Mama to take a nap are ensuring" + " their rapid growth along the" + fpom + "sat/duckgrow.jpg'>'normal' time-line - although one of them is" + " still a cute little runt. " + "
Sunday 3rd: Only one duck was" + " seen sleeping in the river until I passed under the Dolorosa pedestrian" + " bridge when a" + fpom + "sat/duck2603.jpg'>Mama & seven (7) maybe 2 day old ducklings" + " were noticed paddling north toward the Drury NOT EATING ALGAE" + " off the river walls" + fntt + "youtu.be/yrc9kiaZD2A>(video) - an (in)activity that will" + " probably predispose them to a short life in the river." + "
Shortly thereafter, just beyond the St. Mary's bridge" + fpom + "sat/duck2603.jpg'>Mama and her March 22nd ducklings" + fntt + "youtu.be/1549z3k2yWQ>(video) were found napping. An hour" + " or so later they paddled below us, but I didn't couldn't see them all to" + " see whether all six (of the original 9) were still around." + "
Lastly, just before it became too dark to shoot, a Mama and fourteen (14)" + " eagerly eating (algae off the river walls) hatchlings paddled south along" + " the other side of the river below us until they were quacked away by the" + " male and female adult ducks sitting atop the ledge" + fntt + "youtu.be/yID_ICvRPmQ>(video) - first time I'd seen such" + " aggressive behavior by a pair of adults against cute little" + " hatchlings just minding their own busy little business - the 14th little" + " duckling almost got swamped by a passing river barge oblivious to their" + " 'shared' presence in the river." + "
Tuesday 5th: Caught Mama, Papa," + " Uncle and the now two week old six of the 9 hatched on May" + " 22nd several times this morning. None of the still pictures taken" + " were good enough, so one" + fpom + "sat/duck2605(2wks).jpg'>collage was made from the 2 recordings" + fntt + "youtu.be/jZcNV2KguWg>(video-1)" + fntt + "youtu.be/M5_xkuxt1ls>(video-2) taken of them up the" + " southern bend of the Riverwalk just beyond the St. Mary's bridge. " + " It should be noted that they are pretty good at jumped by his age." + "
Saturday 9th: Most of the duck" + " tracking narrative is being transferred from" + fnew + "bendiary>my personal blog to this narrative/blog page" + " - everything exclusively associated with ducks will eventually be" + " reflected here." + "
Tuesday 12th: Two groups of" + fpom + "sat/duck2612bbw.jpg'>four 6 weekers and five 1 ~ 2 weekers" + fyou + "bDEq6Rev2Rk>(video 0:59) were recorded below the Nueva dam. " + " Three of the" + fpom + "sat/duck2612(6wks).jpg'>four 6 weekers are survivors of the" + " 8 first noticed at Navarro island (isthmus) on May 7th and first" + fpom + "sat/duck2514.jpg'>recorded on 5/14 - they may have been eight" + " survivors of the" + fpom + "sat/duck2504twelve.jpg'>twelve first recorded" + fyou + "b_J-jxhTzeY>(video 2:05) on 5/4" + " - they barely surviving the river barge full of tourists that drove over" + " them just around the south bend of the Riverwalk." + "
Saturday 16th: Mama has only" + fpom + "sat/duck2616.jpg'>three ducklings" + fyou + "6AikXPXW3HA>(video 0:44) left of the 9 hatched May 22nd." + "
The oddball White/Beige duckling first noticed last night is" + fpom + "sat/duck2616white.jpg'>recorded" + fyou + "o33l-KSg3Bg>(video 0:56) for the first time." + "
Sunday 17th: Four (unpictured)" + fpom + "sat/duck2617bbw.jpg'>maybe 6 week old Mallard ducklings with Mama" + fyou + "xeFNq2-zg6Q>(video 1:05) were discovered in San Pedro Creek -" + " meaning my former misimpression that ducklings couldn't hide from my daily" + " visits to that creek was very wrong. Another" + fyou + "QSeMMmHCSUQ>(video 0:38) was taken of the surviving three" + " ducklings of the eight hatched around the beginning of May." + "
Tuesday 19th: A much closer" + fpom + "sat/duck2619.jpg'>photo and" + fyou + "FGtwNM24xyI>(video 0:40) were taken just before 5 pm of the" + " Mama and her four (4) probably six (6) week olders directly under the" + " Camp Street bridge. They looking heathy and very used to hiding" + " from almost everything that threatens them." + "
Friday 22nd: So finally, the" + " Mallard pair in the San Pedro Channel between Commerce and Dolorosa next" + " to Camaron have" + fpom + "sat/duck2622.jpg'>four (4) ducklings" + fyou + "gO_Us6h_OmY>(video 0:44) to their credit. They look to be" + " 12 days old, healthy and normally developed. Another cute" + fyou + "H6dgwauZPHU>(video 1:06) taken a week later (6/29) shows them" + " surfin' the same shallow creek in order to feed off the algae growing on" + " the bottom while Mama stands guard. " + fbenw + " This is the channel that evolves into my favorite" + fpom + "sat/duck2617bbw.jpg'>Camp Street viewing spot" + fyou + "xeFNq2-zg6Q>(video 1:05) about a mile south of here." + fbend + "
Monday 25th: A hatching of" + fpom + "sat/duck2625seven.jpg'>seven ducklings this morning allowed the" + " recording of some evidence of the" + fyou + "gP5sVN7-gWM>wet & bright yellow (video 1:31 2 hours old) versus" + fyou + "-KaYx5P-UHE>dry & faded yellow (video 1:50 10 hours old)" + " coloring of very new hatchlings that helps determine whether they were" + " just hatched or not. Only one duckling can be seen in the video," + " but you can take my word for the fact that they were all much brighter" + " when still wet after hatching out of their eggs - the brightness of both" + " their light and dark coloring no doubt enhanced by the tightness of the" + " feathers due to their having been that way in the egg for the past few" + " days. This discovery may also indicate that the paddling in tight" + " formation behavior does not occur until after the hatchlings have dried" + " out somewhat immediately after hatching. Though not recorded, many" + " of the new hatchlings were witnessed diving completely under water for" + " a few inches - can't remember if that was after 2 or 10 hours, though." + " I didn't stick around long enough to record their tight paddling" + " behavior after they awoke from their first nap as a group outside their" + " eggs, but they were spread apart ten hours later." + "
The oddball (non-Mallard)" + fpom + "sat/duck2625white.jpg'>White/Beige duckling" + fyou + "QaSqtNMlzOQ>(video 0:41) was recorded along with a loudly" + " quacking female and a bunch of fish just north of St. Mary's bridge along" + " the southern bend of the Riverwalk." + "
Tuesday 26th: The Mama and her" + fpom + "sat/duck2626(35days).jpg'>three (3) five week old survivors" + " were recorded paddling up the southern bend of the Riverwalk. Other" + fyou + "eKeAxHbTpgk>(video 0:26 nine) and" + fyou + "yyUk4DXcQAs>(video 0:24 four) hatchlings are recorded - some of" + " these may have moved up to the northern section of the Riverwalk but one" + " cannot tell for sure without specific identification of the Mama or some" + " other tracking device." + "
Wednesday 27th: Yet another" + fyou + "ef3ZLK-Y_Ic>(video 0:38) of a Mama and 11 day old 'never to be" + " seen again hatchlings WITHOUT PAPA was recorded - Papa" + " ducks have not been seen with hatchlings the entire month of June." + "
Sunday 30th: The batches of" + fpom + "sat/duck2602six&4.jpg'>six 2 dayers & four 5 dayers first seen" + " on June 2nd under" + fpom + "sat/brackenbridge.jpg'>BrackenBridge are apparently now down to" + fpom + "sat/duck2630.jpg'>five 30 dayers & one 33 dayer" + fyou + "Q0cndtkUk5c>(video 0:41) still in the same general area." + fscr + "monduck('jul','00')" + "
Monday 1st: Got a good" + fpom + "sat/duck2701.jpg'>close-up of three young ducks in the" + fpom + "sat/ducknap2.jpg'>wading pool on the other side of the river below" + " our sundeck. They are too small to be associated with any of" + " the other long tracked hatchings. In any case, they haven't been" + " seen since." + "
Sunday 8th: Noticed my first" + fpom + "sat/duck2708.jpg'>injured duck" + fyou + "XXtd3tCWG4c>(video 0:40) at the Navarro island napping spot." + " The wing is hanging under instead of atop the left leg. " + "
Monday 9th: Mama is no longer" + " with the" + fpom + "sat/duck2709.jpg'>three survivors" + fyou + "cD_gUtpWAYw>(video 1:22) of the nine (9) hatched around May 1st" + " - she maybe with one that didn't go over the Nueva spillway that is more" + " ready to fly - will know whether this is the case when she is again seen" + " with these 3 when they are ready to fly in another week." + "
Mama and her now" + fpom + "sat/duck2709(48days).jpg'>48 day old surviors" + fyou + "20UGQD5DFtU>(close 0:45)" + fyou + "YLVAI4AjzEw>(distant 1:03) (of 9 of May 22) spending a lot more" + " time around their" + fpom + "sat/ducknap2.jpg'>their original hatching spot across the river" + " below our sundeck - as well as at the" + fpom + "sat/ducknap1.jpg'>primary napping spot around the southern bend" + " of the Riverwalk." + "
Saturday 14th: Mama and her" + fpom + "sat/duck2714.jpg'>53 day old survivors (of the 9 of 5/22)" + " are growing as well as if not better than the" + fpom + "sat/duck2501.jpg'>baseline four hatched March 13th. They" + " are definitely growing faster and more normal than the" + fpom + "sat/duck2516.jpg'>four survivors of the lower river which" + " haven't been seen since they were 8 weeks old on" + fpom + "sat/duck2523(8wks).jpg'>May 23rd." + "
Monday 16th: Mama and her" + fpom + "sat/duck2716.jpg'>three pre-flight ducks (there were 4) are" + " still in the downtown San Pedro Creek water diversion channel. Their" + " much larger size, albeit with one now missing, testifys to the apparent" + " abundance of good food in this channel - something that surprises me." + "
Tuesday 17th: Had to take a" + fyou + "OrBR_2kQ6cs>(video 0:58) of the 16 plus ducks napping around" + " the southern bend of the Riverwalk at their" + fpom + "sat/ducknap1.jpg'>favorite napping spot. That spot was" + " used by hatchlings since March of this year. It may be where these" + " now flying and adult sized ducks prefer to rest until their mating and" + " sex drive hormones kick-in. Their Mamas are most likely down there," + " too. Papa ducks have either migrated somewhere else or are changing" + " color to become more camouflaged and Mama duck-like - the curled tail" + " feather is no longer seen on adult males." + "
A group of ten or more was seen paddling down the river toward the" + " Nueva dam & spillway. Upon reflecting, I realized that that section" + " of the river between the Villita and Nueva street bridges is the longest" + " stretch of open sky that would be conducive to helping newly fledging" + " ducks learn to fly without crashing into anything. Will have to run" + " down there with my video camera the next time this is witnessed to see if" + " that 'flight school' is what is happening." + "
Wednesday 18th: The three (3)" + fpom + "sat/duck2718(79days).jpg'>now 79 day old probably fledging ducks" + " are not seen every day (maybe they're napping or flying elsewhere) but" + " sure look big enough to be flying." + "
Thursday 19th: Saw a proud" + " Mama (spreading her wings) with 8 or 9 new ducklings coming off the" + fpom + "sat/ducknap2.jpg'>new hatchling napping rock across the river" + " about 6:45 this morning - they haven't been seen since." + "
Sunday 22nd: Didn't take an" + " earlier video or photo of the ten ducks floating off their" + fpom + "sat/ducknap1.jpg'>primary napping spot around the southern bend" + " of the Riverwalk, but did" + fyou + "9o6610Ryu6o>(video 2:52) them when they came around to their" + fpom + "sat/ducknap2.jpg'>other napping spot across the river" + " below our sundeck. The litter and my personal sightings indicate" + " that some street people may be crashing in that area (the fence" + " is open for the convenience of river boat drivers) at night and" + " spooking the ducks away somehow - the ducks don't spook easily. Also," + " as is the norm when I don't have the camera with me, I saw a small yellow" + " parrot on the stone railing and then in the tree above the" + fpom + "sat/duck2424(401).jpg'>abandoned nest where the eggs failed to" + " hatch back in early May." + "
The" + fpom + "sat/duck2616white.jpg'>White/beige duckling" + fyou + "qIMd_qX_Jr8>(video 1:07) is now down below the Blue Star Arts" + " complex - it obviously having gone over both the Nueva and Alamo dam" + " spillways, probably during a recent heavy rainfall. Farther along," + " under the" + fpom + "sat/brackenbridge.jpg'>BrackenBridge, " + fpom + "sat/duck2722.jpg'>four of the original six" + fyou + "YHWqlMHuPtg>(video 1:05) last seen on" + fpom + "sat/duck2630.jpg'>June 30th and first seen on" + fpom + "sat/duck2602six&4.jpg'>June 2nd were preening each on their own" + " rock with Mama standing at the shallow edge of the river." + "
Monday 23rd: BIG surprise this" + " morning was discovering a Mama with more than four maybe 6 week old in" + fpom + "sat/ducknap2.jpg'>feeding/napping area 2" + fyou + "Vx_pzSqlmFk>(video 1:08) across the river below our sundeck." + " Rushing down there with my camera before they disappeared, I" + " discovered there were EIGHT (8) ducklings all together - twice the number" + " I'd seen surviving beyond 5 weeks since stalking ducks these past nine" + " months - except for the seven (7) seen and video taped last week" + fyou + "Fy1eLNTJjkw>(7/19 video 1:40) recreating" + fyou + "MHpfzBHuzJY>(7/19 video 1:06) with a group of older ducks that" + " had probably just learned to fly, all together again at two separate areas" + " along the northern Riverwalk before the Lexington Avenue bridge. " + " Those seven were more likely eight with the largest mistaken by me as one" + " of the older young ducks. In any case, the 8 seen again today were" + fpom + "sat/duck2723.jpg'>last seen and video taped" + fyou + "-pFcz3wWucU>(video 1:43) eating algae off the walls of the last" + " decorative circular decoration marking the southwestern edge of the" + " Riverwalk 'horseshoe' at the southern bend of same." + "
The disparity in the sizes of these ducklings predicts another problem" + " that will arise when the first grows wings large enough to fly and Mama," + " by instinct if not genetics, devotes all her time to teaching it how to" + " avoid all the hazards along the Riverwalk while learning the routes of" + " same. Some of the abandoned, younger ducklings may disappear" + " looking for her. Or, because these may be part of a larger group" + " of genetically similar ducks, the abandoned ones may survive together by" + " continuing to hang around with their older, flying cousins; as may have" + " been the case when they were spotted last week on the 19th. " + fbenw + "Alternatively, these eight could be cousins rather than hatchmates" + " with some a couple weeks younger than their elders - the Mama of one group" + " of which has disappeared, and her hatchmate (or Papa's female hatchmate)" + " assuming the roles of step-Mama and Mama for all of them. This" + " possibility would be hard to prove without medical intervention." + fbend + "
The western spillway gate at Nueva Street has algae and the eastern one" + " has very little" + fyou + "7GRikFlT7DE>(video 1:03) - explaining why animals, including" + " fish are seen more in the western section. The algae may grow there" + " more for the fact that it is shaded from the sun more during the hottest" + " part of the day." + "
Tuesday 24th: Was surprised by" + fpom + "sat/fish2724.jpg'>fish, ducks, a duckling and a couple birds" + fyou + "vxn67fLBe3U>(video) all going for the scraps of food being" + " tossed into the river by the diners and tourists along the northern bend" + " of the Riverwalk horseshoe where the tourist restaurants are highly" + " concentrated." + "
Friday 27th: First discovered a" + fpom + "sat/duck2727wasp-waisted.jpg'>wasp waisted duckling" + fyou + "jxr9ccH53tk>(video 0:33) yesterday but couldn't get it to sit" + " still for a photograph. Then today, it was with the Blonde Ducks at" + " their favorite area across from the dangerous (to bikes and wheelchairs)," + " too steeply sloped Sheridan Street pedestrian ramp. It and another" + " pre-flight duckling that can't jump up high enough onto the grass to" + " compete for food were nibbling along the river's edge. These are" + " more than likely the two who were first spotted (but not uploaded or" + " discussed) on July 4th. A few days after that, the 5 (of 7 hatched" + " on June 25th in the upper river near us and already down to" + fpom + "sat/duck2627.jpg'>five 2 days later) were" + fpom + "sat/duck2708(13days).jpg'>down to Mama & three (3) - after these" + " two maybe went over the spillway during all the commotion over the July" + " 4th mid-week celebrations and noise." + "
In any case, father up, just below the Nueva dam & Spillway," + fpom + "sat/duck2727.jpg'>Mama and those three survivors (" + fyou + "7WS0Jto6tE0>video 0:57" + fyou + "XIhWNWTWneg> 1:04 ), were over the spillway and into the lower" + " section of the river. Am now looking daily for Mama to hook up with" + " the other two and their numbers to be back up to five." + fbenw + "8/14 update: Two of these three may have drowned under the" + " spillway after their Mama tried repeatedly and fruitlessly to get them to" + " fly back up to the top." + fbend + "
Sunday 29th: Saw a Mama and one" + " duckling resting under" + fpom + "sat/brackenbridge.jpg'>BrackenBridge - spooked them trying to" + " get close enough for a decent photo to upload. A few minutes later," + fpom + "sat/duck2729.jpg'>Mama and three (3) pre-flight ducks(" + fyou + "iEalM-DtXg0>video 1:38 " + fyou + "W8-94Sq4cm4>0:30) paddled under the bridge on the other side of" + " the river - the Mama kept looking up at me sideways as I talked to her -" + " making me think we've met often in the past. Was thinking she was" + " the step-Mama who has now become the 'flight school' nanny chaperoning" + " these young ducks until they're wings are large enough for flight - her" + " extra white back feather coloring is less than the" + fpom + "sat/duck2523(8wks).jpg'>Mama and four last seen May 23rd but is" + " familiar." + "
Monday 30th: One of the three" + " that went over the spillway Friday (maybe) was" + fpom + "sat/duck2730.jpg'>paddling near the two" + fyou + "mTUxxKKKTJY>(video 0:59) (that went over the spillway on July" + " 4th) across from Sheridan St. - their behavior indicates they don't" + " recognize each other as hatchmates. That's probably because they" + " have yet to grow large enough to develop their quacking voices AND to" + " learn the distinctive 'clan quack' from Mama duck, who apparently, is no" + " longer around to teach them. " + fbenw + "8/14 update: Having not seen Mama with any ducklings down" + " in this Nueva to Alamo section of the river over the past couple weeks" + " (this 3rd duckling has also disappeared), it appears these two are now" + " the sole survivors of the last hatching witnessed since the end of June." + " Another two, discussed below at 8/3, could have" + " been part of a mid-july hatching but are also no longer around." + fbend + "
Tuesday 31st: After scaring" + " (Mama by stepping out onto the ledge to count the unseen ducklings" + " nibbling at the algae under it) and then taking yet another" + fyou + "h-c_D1R-GkE>(distant video 0:40) of the eight (8) disparately" + " sized ducklings first seen on" + fpom + "sat/duck2723.jpg'>the 19th and again on the 23rd, I stopped to" + " record the adult or just fledged" + fpom + "sat/duck2731.jpg'>ducks resting along an apparently" + " comfortable stretch of landscaping just south of Martin Street - one" + " drake is partially hidden by the vegetation at the bottom of the photo." + fbenw + "They were down to six at 3:45 pm on Aug 3rd when paddling by the" + " Drury - the oldest is the same size as Mama." + fbend + fscr + "monduck('aug','00')" + "
Thursday 2nd: Saw three" + fpom + "sat/duck2802.jpg'>young ducks" + fyou + "ttTTgmhHjeI>(video 1:16) nibbling across from Old Guilbeau St." + " on the other side of the river. In less than a minute 5 more came" + " out from the shade of the overhanging trees on my (west) side of the" + " river to make eight in all. Although a couple could be adults" + " (Mama and/or Papa), they all look to be just fledged ducks at about 12+" + " weeks of age." + "
Friday 3rd: Noticed a" + fpom + "sat/duck2803.jpg'>Mama and two ducklings sitting at the exact" + " same spot under the first tree east of the Navarro St. bridge along the" + " southern bend of the Riverwalk today and the 7th - the exact same spot" + " for all three motivating yet another picture of ducklings. The" + " maybe 21 day old age means they could have hatched in mid-July - the very" + " last hatching of the year in our southern bend of the riverwalk." + "
In any case, as the collage shows, the last, lame duckling suddenly" + " appeared at the" + fpom + "sat/ducknap2.jpg'>cleaning/feeding/napping/preening spot" + " across the river below our sundeck on August 11th and was photographed" + " the next day. It too disappeared on August 13th. It's back" + " had bare spots where bird had apparently been pecking at it. It and" + " its hatchmate both appeared injured when first seen on August 3rd - that" + " probably explaining why they hadn't moved very far over the ensuing 4" + " days. The combination of children (and some of their parents)" + " behaving monstrously (chasing & grabbing ducklings), predator grackles," + " turtles, snakes and fish most likely pre-determined the early demise of" + " these last hatchlings of the year - until it all begins again in ???" + "
Saturday 4th: Found twenty-two" + " (22) ducks at their" + fpom + "sat/ducknap1.jpg'>primary napping spot around the southern bend" + " of the Riverwalk about 12:30 pm - that's the record, so far." + "
Sunday 5th: The" + fpom + "sat/duck2805white.jpg'>White duck" + fpom + "sat/duck2817white.jpg'>(8/17)" + fyou + "mWpCcm61OCc>(video 0:39) is much larger since first spotted" + fpom + "sat/duck2616white.jpg'>50 days ago on June 16th - it is now" + " larger than the adult female seen with it in the video." + "
The log that was first seen during the rain storm of July 11th" + fyou + "GTo328PGROM>(video 2:08) and photographed" + fpom + "sat/walk2712.jpg'>the next day and on" + fpom + "sat/walk2718.jpg'>July 18th at Nueva dam has now become" + fpom + "sat/duck2805.jpg'>snagged under the overhanging branches" + fyou + "PzP8UFTktjQ>(video 0:49) of one of the trees along the west" + " side of the Riverwalk. I'd been thinking that the ducks needed some" + " sort of raft or other flotation device in order to rest when the river is" + " high and places too much water above the" + fpom + "sat/duck2422-9.jpg'>concrete lips of the various wading/fish" + " spawning pools in that portion of the river - it usually moving fast" + " there, also, because of the spillway. Well, here GOD has delivered" + " just what was needed for the fortunate ducks." + "
Wednesday 22nd: Noticing five" + " or more ducks frolicking and staying under the S. Alamo street bridge, I" + " biked past the Arsenal Post Office from Camp Street in the hope that" + " they'd still be there for pictures. Well, one female was seen" + " paddling south, so I decided to video and narrate her story in hopes the" + " others would show up" + fyou + " >(video 1:32). They sure did! Even a" + " couple adults flew in, probably Papas to protect their presumed (by" + " them) threatened 73 and 88 day old fledging ducklings - 8 are reflected" + " in the video - another female paddled from under the bridge after I" + " stopped. Figured three or four of them were survivors of those" + " first seen" + fpom + "sat/duck2617bbw.jpg'>hiding down beyond Camp St. on June 17th" + fyou + "xeFNq2-zg6Q>(video 1:05) (and in the open on" + fpom + "sat/duck2619.jpg'>June 19th) - maybe about 88 days old now and" + " long past 'normal' fledging age." + "
After returning home and thinking about the number of ducks seen, I" + " remembered the" + fpom + "sat/duck2622.jpg'>four hatchlings first seen June 22nd" + fyou + "gO_Us6h_OmY>(video 0:44 and " + fyou + "H6dgwauZPHU>1:06=6/29 surfin the creek) in the very shallow" + " downtown section of San Pedro at Dolorosa & Camaron. These had" + " undoubtedly been washed downstream during one of the rain storms we've" + " had since then. In any case, they are probably among those in the" + " video recorded today and could be about 73 days old or 9 days beyond" + " normal learning to fly (fledging) age." + "
Lastly, while biking north up the west side of the Riverwalk between" + " Guenther and Nueva, I encountered the now" + fpom + "sat/duck2727wasp-waisted.jpg'>58 day old survivors of the" + " seven hatched below us in the upper river on" + fpom + "sat/duck2625seven.jpg'>June 25th. The wasp-waist has" + " vanished and they are both looking more normal for their age." + "
Friday 24th: Well, mating season" + fpom + "sat/duck2824mate.jpg'>has begun anew" + fyou + "_gDXmfE3bj4>(video 1:32) - the two mean ducks chasing everyone" + " else away from 'their' wading pool and resting ledges mated at about 8 am" + " and I didn't begin the video until about one minute thereafter. Both" + " paddled from the relatively dry lip of the wading pool out about 20 feet" + " into the river, where Papa mounted Mama for a few seconds and then made a" + " 3/4 counter clockwise and large semi-circle around her before dipping into" + " the water and flapping his wings. She did a lot of dipping into the" + " water before returning to the wading pool lip to preen where he soon" + " joined her. " + fbenw + "They both may have been there near the landscaping lip around 9:30" + " pm on Monday, 3 nights later - one duck was on the lip and disappeared" + " when an empty, speeding river taxi drove past real close - it or another" + " duck was seen immediately below the lip on the ground thereafter" + " - didn't see the move from one spot to the other." + fbend + "
Saturday 25th: Decided to" + fyou + "m667jRpSA98>(video 1:07) what may be the eldest of the Unos" + fpom + "sat/duck2506.jpg'>going back to May 6th or 3 1/2 months ago -" + " that too far long ago to be this one, but it could be the one that was" + " with a couple other similarly aged ducks a month ago on" + fpom + "sat/duck2730.jpg'>July 30th. It flapped its wings (after" + " the video) and they looked big enough for flight but it wasn't" + " witnessed using them for any lifting; unlike the other adults which" + " consistently flew up onto the grass before being chased back into the" + " water by the" + fpom + "sat/duck2409.jpg'>two blonde ducks (" + fyou + "PiBCVFG8aec>video 4/22 1:36 " + fyou + "eidORPBxgzM>4/9 0:15 " + fyou + "Ki-z_Tvl50Q>3/16 1:02 )." + fscr + "monduck('sep','00" + fsenk + "
Wednesday 5th: Was surprised by" + " Mama and six almost day old hatchlings paddling down toward" + fspop + "o','Johnson bridge','sat/johnson-bridge.jpg" + fsenk + fspop + "o',' & plaque','sat/johnson-plaque.jpg" + fsenk + "(" + fyou + "VSMYimRN7Yk>9/5 video 1:23 and" + fyou + "szfRNX-b628>9/7 1:10 ) on my return from selling 26.5 pounds" + " of cans around 8:30 am - no Papa duck around. Adding 6 eggs to 26" + " days incubation and 2 days mating, nesting and laying the first egg makes" + " 34 days - meaning an August 1st estimated mating or 3 weeks earlier than" + " the one I witnessed on the 24th. They were still" + " hanging around the fish nesting pool below Old Guilbeau Street" + fpom + "sat/duck2904(6).jpg'>on the 8th - climbing into the overhanging" + " vegetation that dips into the water and sleeping in there between feeding" + " trips along the river. So long as the predators can't get to them" + " in those shrubs or during those foraging forays, they might have a chance" + " of surviving. Have yet to see a Papa duck associated with them." + fpom + "sat/duck2616white.jpg'>White Duck may have reappeared with" + fpom + "sat/duck2921white.jpg'>black wing feathering" + fyou + "LNY49Gj-2Dk>(video 0:38) - it was last sighted August 17th in" + " the same area" + fpom + "sat/duck2817white.jpg'>below the first lookout under the Blue" + " Star Arts complex at the S. Alamo Street dam & spillway. It had been" + fyou + "mWpCcm61OCc>last video taped (0:39)" + fpom + "sat/duck2805white.jpg'>on August 5th at that same place. " + " The first videos of this odd duck were taken on" + fyou + "o33l-KSg3Bg>(June 16th 0:56) and" + fyou + "ctnD_6j1vo0>(22nd)." + fscr + "monduck('oct','00" + fsenk + "
Sunday 7th: The Mama and 5" + " hatchlings seen by Tony on Friday morning apparently went over the Nueva" + " dam spillway just about the time I got there at noon on Saturday. " + " Only four were left by the time I video taped them -" + fyou + "crnlIIrEs8A>(video 0:24 " + fyou + "o0BGlArB-Oo>6th 2of2 0:57 " + fyou + "nTzqP1QGoMM>1of2 1:20). Only two were seen with Mama" + " eating algae off the river walls (and making futile attempts to climb up" + " the concrete) 24 hours later at noon on Sunday." + fscr + "icon('cestlavie" + fsenk + "
Friday 12th: Mama and 9" + " hatchlings were discovered in the wading pool next to their" + fpom + "sat/ducknap1.jpg'>favorite napping spot" + fyou + "SvbWA3MLIOk>(video 1:16 & " + fyou + "9ZJ0GDDXtsg>1:19) around the southern bend of the Riverwalk." + " The ninth hatchling (there could have been more) was confirmed" + " visually a half-hour later just before the distant 2nd video. I'd" + " hoped it would show their 'kitten-like' behavior investigating the" + " plastic cups and other pedestrian litter deeper (and more safely) into" + " the vegetation of that pool - it was more noticeable before the 2nd" + " video was begun. A Mama and 4 ducklings were spotted within a week," + " but more than that were never seen, again." + fscr + "icon('cestlavie" + fsenk + "
Sunday 14th: The first time two" + " coots have been seen together" + fyou + "EmOcUNjxOvg>(video 1:09) - they with the much larger mallards" + " down by the" + fspop + "o','Johnson bridge','sat/johnson-bridge.jpg" + fsenk + fspop + "o',' & plaque','sat/johnson-plaque.jpg" + fsenk + " where many people come down to throw food. " + fscr + "wiki('American_Coot','w" + fsenk + " The Wikipedia site shows ducks much larger than the ones I've been" + " spotting in the lower section of the river between Cesar Chavez and" + " Guenther over the past year - until now always as a solitary duck." + "
Monday 15th: Got another" + fyou + "07MTIR8RwFA>(video 1:13) of the smallish looking duck that acts" + " like a cormorant" + fwik + "cormorant','w" + fsenk + ". Naturally, now that it's letting me get my camera out to take a" + " video, it no longer wants to dive and stay under water for a lengthy" + " period to prove that it's not a duck." + "
Thursday 25th: At least six (6)" + " adult ducks have begun gathering below us at the 2nd favorite of two" + fpom + "sat/ducknap2.jpg'>cleaning/feeding/napping/nesting/preening spots" + " on either side of the southern bend of the Riverwalk Horseshoe. This" + " could be the entire clan of Mama, Papa and 4 Survivors hatched on" + fnew + "d2313.htm>March 13th of this past year - those 4 'adults' not" + " yet a year old but acting like regular ducks. They also could have" + " been the ones involved in a large duck face-off" + fyou + "ff0gRk6kaj8>(video 0:41) that happened yesterday morning about" + " 10:00 am next to the Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk between Commerce and" + " Market Streets. Maybe up to a dozen adult sized ducks quacked loudly" + " and chased each other around for about 10 seconds - the video shows the" + " immediate aftermath of that as one group paddled off toward our sundeck." + "
Tuesday 30th: Finally got a" + " good picture and video of the" + fspop + "o','young cormorant','sat/corm2o30.jpg" + fsenk + fyou + "Edzh4pv0fWc>(video 1:30) hanging around with all the adult and" + " young ducks (hatched this year) down around" + fspop + "o','Johnson bridge','sat/johnson-bridge.jpg" + fsenk + fspop + "o',' & plaque','sat/johnson-plaque.jpg" + fsenk + ". It close enough to confirm the miniature cormorant body type." + "
Wednesday 31st: Got a picture of" + fspop + "o','one of the two large egrets','sat/egret2o31.jpg" + fsenk + " sharing the river between Blue Star and" + fspop + "o','BrackenBridge','sat/brackenbridge.jpg" + fsenk + " - the other egret being as big but bright white. There were a few" + " olders ducks up there, too. Found" + fspop + "o','Mama and her six (6) fresh hatchlings','sat/duck2o31(6).jpg" + fsenk + " just beyond the Old Guildbeau fish spawning pool - she presumably taking" + " them to some spot where they might rest from all the predators that will" + " surely eat them all before this week is out." + fscr + "monduck('nov','00" + fsenk + "
Saturday 3rd: Mama and her now" + fspop + "o','down to three (3) ducklings','sat/duck2o31(6).jpg" + fsenk + fyou + "lN9-mAk5H4U>(video 1:03) were down by H-E-B 72 hours after" + " hatching." + "
Monday 5th: Mama and her three" + fspop + "o','were going strong at the same location','sat/duck2o31(6).jpg" + fsenk + fyou + "fOtCrHr5Jz0>(video 0:43)" + " where they were first spotted last Wednesday." + "
Earlier at San Pedro Creek @ Camp St, there were a" + fspop + "o','half-dozen adult ducks','sat/duck2n05.jpg" + fsenk + " together - making me think this is the clan that showed up suddenly in" + " this same spot earlier this Spring after a heavy, river washing rainfall" + " probably caused them to surf here from who knows where." + "
Tuesday 6th: Made a collage" + " of a bird that just killed and captured a less than" + fspop + "o','week old duckling','sat/duck2n06bird.jpg" + fsenk + fyou + "cuov3jXVu7E>(video 1:06)" + " that was probably part of a group of four (4) hatchlings that were" + " diligently eating algae off the river walls in the southern T of the" + " Riverwalk near the convention center. I'd noticed the adult Mallards" + " on the way into the turn and then one duckling on the way back. Upon" + " looking over the wall to see the duckling I noticed the bird with the dead" + " duckling it its beak sitting on the higher planter wall. It dropped" + " the duckling as I got the camera out - the video captures the bird looking" + " down at the carcass before diving down to retrieve it in the water and fly" + " around to a more hidden section of that same landscaping planter. " + " The other two ducklings were noticed a couple hundred feet or so further" + " along the river - unacommpanied by nervously and diligently eating at the" + " algae." + "
Around 9:30 am just before" + fspop + "o','Johnson bridge','sat/johnson-bridge.jpg" + fsenk + fspop + "o',' & plaque','sat/johnson-plaque.jpg" + fsenk + ", the young cormorant paddled past a floating turtle, some fish and the" + " usual gaggle of adult ducks waiting around for food thrown by whichever" + " passersby do so - a combination of disparate animals that just screamed for a" + fyou + "YarIHFDNMJI>(video 1:21) - had never seen a turtle so willing" + " to float around in the river as long as this one did." + "
Monday 12th: Got the closest" + fspop + "o','picture, yet, of the coot','sat/coot2n12.jpg" + fsenk + " hanging around between Cesar Chavez and" + fspop + "o','Johnson bridge','sat/johnson-bridge.jpg" + fsenk + fspop + "o',' & plaque','sat/johnson-plaque.jpg" + fsenk + ". Also have" + fspop + "o','been noticing an unusual number of Cormorants','sat/corm2n11.jpg" + fsenk + " hanging around between Nueva and Brackenbridge this past week - including" + " some with lighter colored neck and breast feathers." + "
Tuesday 13th: Discovered" + fspop + "o','twelve grown ducks all together','sat/duck2n13.jpg" + fsenk + fyou + "ywt2XjqCzHY>(video 1:08)" + " in San Pedro Creek below the Camp bridge this morning. My guess is" + " that these are all of the same duck clan with at least four of them" + " hatched this year - some maybe washed down here from downtown during one" + " of the major rainstorms we had this past year." + "
Thursday 15th: Discovered the" + fspop + "o','young Cormorant showing its tiny wings" + fsenk + fyou + "nJdohv_4htw>(video 1:42) down around the S. Alamo street dam &" + " spillway - I missed its 10 or so second dive before getting the camera" + " out - needless to say it didn't dive for the camera. A little" + " farther up the river, just beyond the River Authority building," + fspop + "o','Mama & her three (3) 16 day olders" + fsenk + fyou + "G_TTxvCUnKQ>(video 2:07) were diligently eating algae off the walls" + " and anything else edible found in the river - these ducks traversing the" + " entire lower section of the river between the Nueva and Alamo dams." + fbenw + "They were all seen again the next day." + fbend + "
Finally, in the" + fspop + "o','Johnson bridge area','sat/johnson-bridge.jpg" + fsenk + fspop + "o',' & plaque','sat/johnson-plaque.jpg" + fsenk + ", the" + fspop + "o','white tailed & billed Coot" + fsenk + fyou + "aqbnIxlT3aE>(video 1:20) was found FOR THE FIRST TIME on land - it was" + " otherwise not doing anything of interest in spite of my entreaties." + "
Saturday 17th: Around 12:20 pm" + " this afternoon, just under the pedestrian walkway at the southern bend of" + " the Riverwalk, eagerly eating algae off the concrete sides of the river," + fspop + "o','Mama and nine (9) hatchlings','sat/duck2n17(9).jpg" + fsenk + fyou + "eZ0MCglFGYM>(video 1:32) were seen. Papa duck was" + " back a ways. The intelligence and diligence of this group makes me" + " consider that this Mama & Papa are the same ones who successfully brought" + fnew + "d2313.htm>four Survivor Ducks to adulthood from their hatching" + " back in March of this same year. Mama teaching them to eat so soon" + " after hatching, Papa hovering in the background as protection and their" + " initial paddling in the close area between the northern and southern" + " bends of the Riverwalk (teaching familiarity in case any one of them gets" + " away from the others) indicate that intelligence. That most if not" + " all of them survive into their 4th week may prove that these are a second," + " early (for this second mating season) hatching that will be easy to track" + " into advanced age for there being so many of them always together at one" + " time - at least that's my hope at this very early stage of the process." + fbenw + "None of them survived through their 8th day - the presumed Mama" + " was witnessed loudly quacking for the last one or two ducklings that had" + " 'presumably' just been grabbed by a fish, turtle, snake or bird." + fbend + "
Friday 23rd: Another unusual" + fyou + "BAhrg_dYVI0>(video 1:29) was recorded just after noon when," + " down by the" + fspop + "o','Johnson bridge FAVORITE ANIMAL RESTING AREA','sat/johnson-bridge.jpg" + fsenk + fspop + "o',' & plaque','sat/johnson-plaque.jpg" + fsenk + ", Cormy the young Cormorant, Coot, Red, Gray," + fspop + "o','Mama and her three now 24 day olders','sat/duck2o31(6).jpg" + fsenk + " and the usual assortment of other grown Mallards, including young Uno," + " Uno and Dos, most likely (can't tell the young ones from the others any" + " more) who went over the Nueva dam earlier this year, WERE ALL" + " FOUND TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME IN THE SAME PLACE! The 24 day" + " olders were also recorded" + fpom + "sat/duck2n18.jpg'>on the 18th and their 3rd week on the 20th" + fyou + "K_IGwY2SMzE>(video 1:17)." + "
Saturday 24th: What was later" + " discovered (via the Bing search engine) to be an" + fspop + "o','Brown-Eye-Masked Egyptian Goose','sat/duck2n24.jpg" + fsenk + fyou + "YbYwu0ByQl4>(video 3:32) was seen just before 10 am this" + " morning down under the Arsenal bridge. It was nonplussed at my" + " presence and eventually waddled up to me after I dismounted the bike to" + " crouch down to its level for steadier video taping. Haven't seen it" + " since - had never seen one like it before this. " + fbenw + "This" + fntt + "www.bing.com/images/search?q=brown+eye+masked+duck&view=detail&id=FDE329210CC95AF98CC2A2815147203B8F76FF49&first=40" + ">Bing searched link with picture confirms the identity, although the" + " ?goose? there is even more magnificent than the one that visited us in" + " San Antonio." + fbend + "
Monday 26th: A Mama and ten (10)" + " half-day old hatchlings were seen near their favorite napping area." + fyou + "T3KrhoB9chc>(video 0:57) (never seen again)" + "
Tuesday 27th: Uno, Dos, Tres" + " (lagging far behind the others with a damaged leg that's slowing its" + " paddling efficacy), Mama, Papa and even an Uncle duck were all found just" + " north of Cesar Chavez (fomerly Durango) bridge around 2 pm." + fyou + "o7knawY3cXk>(video 2:03) A couple minutes earlier, just" + " south on the other side of the bridge, Mama was quacking loudly trying" + " to gather all three of her ducklings together - proving that" + " she wasn't just quacking for the missing/laggard duckling after she" + " continued loudly even after finding Tres down where I was. Her" + " loud quacking brought my attention to her - me thinking she'd just lost" + " another duckling to a predator." + "
But then, Tres was seen on my side of the river paddling north toward" + " Uno and Dos (who were subsequently discovered to be on the other side of" + " the bridge) - Tres paddling slower than normal due to a bad leg that" + " looked like it might have been bitten by a turtle attempting to drag it" + " under water. Tres continued until it joined up with Uno & Dos -" + " Mama was absent while this was happening. " + fbenw + "The agitation of Uno & Dos noticeable in the video might indicate" + " that they'd just survived a predator attack and didn't want to return to" + " where it happened no matter how loudly Mama quacked." + fbend + "
She had flown off with and when another male flew down to where I was" + " talking to Tres - maybe where the predator attack had just happened. " + " Mama returned with it (and A 2ND MALE) only after all 3 of the now" + " exactly four week olds had reassembled together just north of the bridge." + " The extra male (Uncle duck) is presumably a hatchmate of Papa's." + " Mama quacked a few times when she got back with all three of her" + " ducklings and re-establied her normal chaperoning routine." + "
Thursday 29th: Uno, Dos & Mama" + " of the 10/31/12 six hatchlings are left." + fyou + "YiUSr3jP81Q>(video 0:34) " + fyou + "UFikzzVslHQ>(2:35 12/04) Another six (6) fresh and very" + " tiny hatchlings were spotted with both Mama and Papa around Old Guilbeau" + " but only two were seen with her 24 hours later." + fyou + "xUW66GSufqg>(video 0:46) Saturday found them trapped in" + " the landscaped flowage at the S. Alamo Street dam & spillway." + fyou + "jvjIxNTtPu4>(video 1:09) Mama and two hatchlings were" + " seen up by Guilbeau between Nueva and Cesar Chavez bridges Sunday - if" + " the same group (no Papa duck was seen), then someone had to intervene to" + " lift them out of the flowage back into this upper section of the river." + " Or, there are two similarly aged groups of Mama and few day olders in" + " the lower section of the river right now. (never seen again)" + "
Just before that discovery, a male and female were spotted in what was" + " thought to be pre-mating dipping behavior - there is no mating on the" + fyou + "x0_0J9HkRRU>(video 1:05), but it does show them both going" + " underwater for about 10 seconds at the same time - that a first for me." + fyou + "829PYTe2q7U>(mating video 0:55 of 12/19/12) " + "
Friday 30th: Friday's usual" + " trip to the Main Library (to get the weekly stock portfolio closings) was" + " a couple hours earlier for me wanting to do some research in the Texana" + " genealogy section on the 6th floor. In any case, this trip allowed" + " the chance to finally get close enough to the" + fspop + "o','white and black female Mallard','sat/duck2418b&wpair.jpg" + fsenk + fyou + "wMN7LMdCrMU>(video 1:56) (and its presumed drake mate)" + " that's never stood still long enough to capture before." + " " + fscr + "monduck('dec','00" + fsenk + "
Thursday 6th: Another Mama and" + " five (5) fresh hatchlings were seen below Nueva spillway - three videos" + " were taken but none were interesting enough to upload or save. Did" + " not see any of them the next day nor again thereafter." + "
Tuesday 11th: Found Uno & Dos" + " with Ma & Pa on their 6th week anniversary down below Old Guilbeau St" + fyou + "hJqUs9GsSUk>(video 1:03 " + fyou + "EZOem66pMbs>7 week video 1:53 of 12/18) - a VERY UNUSUAL benchmark for" + " ducklings hatched in the lower section of the river between the Nueva and" + " Alamo dams; primarily because there are so many predators and so few" + " places where flightless ducks can gain a 'dry land' resting place. " + " These will be very strong alpha ducks should they survive long enough to" + " fledge and continue/start their own clans." + "
Also saw the other much older Uno with its Ma & Pa down by Nueva dam" + fyou + "QqoYyjmw1AQ>(video 0:58). They paddled up while I was" + " saying hello to Grandpa Cormorant (one of several) who was alone on the" + " cable that's probably there to stop boats from floating over the dam. " + " This being my usual return bike route from the library, all the animals" + " are spoken to merely to get them used to my voice for future video taping" + " facilitation. Papa duck flew up toward me as if to acknowledge that" + " familiarity but reversed flight when encountering the slatted metal rail" + " along the dam top sidewalk - that would have been a first. That Uno" + " is only noticeable because it is smaller than Mama (they look alike) and" + " is always accompanied by both Mama and Papa - it should be flying by now" + " but I've not witnessed it that I know of." + "
Saturday 15th: Couldn't whip" + " the camera out fast enough to catch the actual mating but caught Papa" + " paddling in a large circle around Mama (both prospective) immediatly" + " thereafter." + fyou + "UQ5Wpo7IwCY>(video 0:30)" + "
Wednesday 19th: F I N A L L Y," + fyou + "829PYTe2q7U>(a mating video 0:55 of 12/19/12) has now been" + " made and can be referenced until a better one is recorded. Also" + " found two fresh hatchlings under Cesar Chavez bridge with their Mama" + " coaxing them into making the big leap into the river." + fyou + "e8GLljAY7Kk>(video 1:17)" + "
There are an unusual number of ducks making the San Pedro Creek area" + " just south of the Camp Street bridge their home - up to twelve but mostly" + " from six to nine at a time - six being the group that I suspect came from" + " downtown and which were recorded previously thereat." + fyou + "aZli7-ACtb8>(video 1:28) This recording was made to get" + " the Big Mama and Little Baby snow white egrets, also usually there, in" + " the picture - along with some of the turtles, more being visible when I" + " began the video. Simultaneously, on the north side of the bridge," + fspop + "o','six (6) cowbirds','sat/bird2d19six.jpg" + fsenk + " were sitting along the railing overlooking the terminus of the concrete" + " lined channel portion of the river that shunts heavy rainwater from the" + " downtown area through San Pedro Creek until it flows into the San Antonio" + " River. Had I known they were there, they would have been included" + fyou + "aZli7-ACtb8>(in the video 1:28) taken on the other side." + "
Monday 28th, 2013: " + " F I N A L L Y, a video" + " has been taken of " + fyou + "zztGxz6iebg>4:25 10/28/13 7 hatchlings GOING OVER the Nueva" + " spillway!" + fend + fnbsp + fyou + "LA3DnCwCV3M>(2:45 10/30/13 only 1 of 7 left on day 3)" + fend + fnbsp + fpom + "sat/duck3o28-7.jpg'>collage
Website link/location/URL: http://Ducks.Jamrent.org