In Memoriam of Tiny Tim (Timmy) 8/1/09 - 12/30/09

On Christmas Day, one of the families across the canal had a big duck feeding party late in the day. Most of my ducks were in attendance, to include Timmy.

On Boxing Day, my sister and I went out very early and did some shopping, and came home to see Timmy still in their yard. Now, Timmy can fly, and well, considering his ailment. We all concurred he will leave the yard when he's ready. He didn't. I didn't sleep. The family said leave him be.

He was there for 2.5 days. The last day, when I look my sister to the airport, I drove to the neighborhood across the canal and knocked on their door. When the gal groggily answered the door (they had quite a late party the nite before) I asked her if she could let Timmy out. She said I could enter her yard. I ran back and grabbed him and set him at the canal's edge and put his beak in the water. (I didn't know if he had had any water from their pool so assumed dehydration). He drank. I then hopped in the car, and called The Engineer. While I took my sister and Lily to the airport, he came out with a bowl of food and coaxed Timmy across to our side. He collapsed at the water's edge, after he ate a half a bowl of food.

The Engineer was getting bombarded with every duck in a mile radius. He picked up Timmy and went to our yard, and tossed the food bowl as a distraction. Then he put Timmy at the pool's edge and fed him in peace. He was very weak.

I came home and fed him again. I made him a special brew of cooked egg yolk (a recommended protein when they first hatched if they did not eat), grass, their feed, some lettuce, and a small amount of bread. I added lots of water so he could get it down easily. I had to put my finger in the bowl to swish it around and then he would gulp. He just looked at me with the saddest eyes. I fed him every half an hour. I made him a nest similar to the one I made The Flock in October.

At night, he went into our big plant on the other side of the pool. Yesterday morning around 7am, I went out and he groggly stumbled out. I fed and watered him. I repeated this throughout the day. Around 5:00pm, when the Hungry Higgins Masses-O-Birds came around, he slinked off to the bushes. I checked on him a couple of times. It has been in the 40's at night and I feared the worst.

I went out at 6:30 this morning and he was gone.

I wrapped him in one of the towels I used for the brooder and the coop. I laid him to rest next to Mama Speck.

I took these photos the last two days. I was so afraid I might lose him and wanted to have more photos of him.

Goodbye Timmy.   :(

Lily Bird

My sister and her Leader Dog, Lily came to visit. We all wondered how Lily would do with 3 cats and a yard full of ducks.

As you may or may not know, Leader Dogs are given over a year of intense training to be of service. Lily's work is for the blind. She has given my sister a life she otherwise would not be able to lead. (no pun intended).

When Lily is not on lead, she is just a dog. And what a dog she is! The amazing thing about Lily (an English Lab), is her temperment. We let her out back in a yard filled with ducks and did she scamper after them? Yes she did, but not in a harmful manner. We called it bowling for ducks. The ducks flew away. Be many times she and ducks we yard partners and she didn't give them nary a sniff!

The Engineer gave her an AKC toy duck during her visit. He thought it was hysterical. I have to admit, even though it has a sick twist, we call got a good chuckle. :)

Meet Lily. (Otherwise known as Lily Bird, Bird Dog, & LB)

Going About Their Business

Early November - just hangin!

Birds, Birds, and More Birds!

On the morning of November 1st, I was awakened by the call of the Whistling Duck. I ran out with my camera, but I could not find them.

What I did find was another of the large Herons that grace the canal. This bird is just as large as the previously mentioned Wood Stork. but much slimmer. Once again, I don't know if this shot captures its size.

Look at this bird in comparision to the giant palm frawn.


Other Critters

From my brother, the Animal Dude to me via email:

"This is a Green Anole,(Anolis carolinensis) They are native to this area and the larger of the two is most likely a male. They can change color like a Chameleon from tan to bright green. The males display with a large throat fan that is bright pink in the mating season or when fighting each other. They were sold (and probably still are) at K-mart and pet shops by the thousands when I was a kid. I've probably had fifty of them in my lifetime and now they are an introduced species in much of the country and probably other countries as well. There are numerous species of Anole's in America now that have been introduced from Cuba, The Bahamas, Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands. There are hundreds  of Brown Anole's Be Kind's house. I caught some when I went back there to see my folks.

They are harmless and will keep the bugs in check to some degree.

Cool stuff!"

Halloween Day

What do ducks do on Halloween Day??

Be Ducks!



Soon after they started the duck drive thru, they started really practicing their flying. This is October 28th,trust me, they were getting airborne. This is the first day they were actyally flying and I was able to catch the action. Yes, I was crying. This was so awesome.

How cool - Angel and Spenti in the same frame!


This was such a great day! I was screaming, and jumping up and down. What a "soccer mom"!

Duck Drive Thru

This is a bit out of sequence, but this event is what led me to starting the yard clean up. One late afternoon while I was setting my Mother's hair, the some of the female ducks, "flew" up onto the duck coup and let me know they were ready for their dinner!

This is the first Duck Drive Thru, I have ever seen.

This is hilarious!

Now I have to open the blinds! We are cracking up!

So then I fed them, and they had a drink of water....

Then they got sassy, and starting hopping on anything that had height.
Ok, that's just about enough! :)

More Cleaning Up

The side of my house, where we keep the trash can and recycling, is where the ducks sleep. I also feed them there because of the rise from the canal. The wild ducks can't see me feeding them and it keeps them out of my yard. The ducks have just about eaten all of the grass and made trenches in the dirt. It's not very pretty.

I also want to keep them off of the patio. I know, they can fly, but I need a deterrent.

I (yes me alone, The Engineer is out of the country) took the pool fencing and blocked off the side yard. Then I filled in the dirt with ten bags of top soil. I put a short green fence around the entire pool. The ducks have to have water to drink 24/7 so they will now be forced to go to the canal.

Yes, they do fly over it, but for the most part, they are obeying the new world order.

Go Be Ducks! :)

Getting Back On Track

Now that The Peepers are spending a goodly portion of their day canal-side, it's time to clean up the yard!

Here's some Pop Culture trivia - recognize this?

This is Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies out by
The Cement Pond!

I have to admit, I am starting to feel a bit like a Clampett, with all of these ducks around. Good grief.

We have bulk trash day once a month. Let's get this ball rollin' - shall we? First of all, goodbye duck coup.


 The bales of hay from Halloween need to go, and we need a new BBQ too - pitch it! Pitch it all!!!


After Tiny Tim, or Timmy as he is known now, was about a month old, he developed a problem. I don't know what it is. I asked the Vet about it, and he only could say that he has seen this in fowl. He didn't know how to treat it. He asked me if Timmy knew he was "different". Does he eat and hang out with his siblings? No, he does not know he is different and yes, he does hang out with his siblings. He does put his head down when he is not in motion.

I do give him supplemental meals, very watered down so he can get it down.

But I can tell you, he is ok and thriving!

Heron or Great Egret

We have a couple of very large Herons/Great Egrets on the canal. They are sooooo hard to get on film. Unlike the Muscovy ducks and Whistling Ducks, these big birds are very skiddish. I have tried to capture them for over a year.

I hope this gives you an idea of the size of this dude. He is over 3 feet tall. Maybe 4. It's hard to gauge.

Look at him in relation to this full grown duck.

When he flies away, his wing span is over 6 feet across. Quite something.

EDIT: My brother called it. Its a stork. A wood stork! Wow! Thanks Rob! You can read about the wood stork here:

Cold Snap! Brrrrrrr!

In mid October, cold & blustery winds arrived. It was in the 40's at night. My poor babies!

I went down to the canal to visit and Timmy (my sickly baby, more on him later) was shivering!!! I was in tears.

I made them a nest. I made a barrier out of patio chairs. I put the blanket the raccoon ruinded, down on the patio and covered that in their old coup towels.

They were very snuggly. :)

D Day - Operation December Duck

In talking further with the SPCA, they gave me advice on how to ween the ducks. She asked me if I have gone thru all of this to keep them as pets. Of course not! I did this so they had a chance at living a real life.

They suggested that in addition to stop serving their meals in dishes (LOL), that I start cutting back on the feedings. By this time I was only feeding them 6 times a day. (only she said???) Gradually cut back by a meal a day for a week or so and so on. Make the portions smaller. The fact of the matter is, they're never going to go and live their life until the feed bag dries up. (Sniff). Although I know they're right, I'm attached. But they're not attached to me now, I have gone from being mama to being food.

December First.

What this date means: I will have gone from 6 meals, and gradually down to 3 meals a day. Then two. On December First, it's breakfast only Peepers.

December First is the date of this post. My heart is breaking, but it has to be done. Operation December Duck is in process. :(

Oh, there's more to this story, so stay tuned. I have two months of fodder!