At the supermarket where I most commonly shop, one of the shopkeepers nearby rips up stale bread rolls and tosses them under one of the trees in the parking area. Birds cluster there in noisy flocks, waiting for their daily bread, mostly pigeons and a few seagulls, but the other day I was delighted to see a couple of ducks.
I’m very fond of ducks, as was my father. We even kept a few ducks when I was a kid, and of the various varieties we had, my favorite was the Khaki Campbell, a brown duck — ours were very friendly. And the ducklings were so sweet — little tortoiseshell bundles of fluff.
But these were wild ducks and though they looked a bit like Khaki Campbells, I knew they weren’t. That stripy head and their beautiful blue bills made that clear. I looked them up and they’re Pacific Black Ducks.
I’ve never seen them in this area before. They usually hang out near water, not in supermarket car parks, but we’d had a whopper of a storm the day before and there was still puddles everywhere, so I guess they felt at home. At any rate they happily devoured the bread, seemingly unbothered by the other birds, or by me, edging ever closer to take a photo.
It was just a little insignificant moment, but it really made me smile. Sometimes the smallest things can make my day.
I love ducks. If I had a pond, I’d have ducks. These are pretty. I’ve never seen a blue bill before. Unfortunately, too much bread gives them angel wing so I hope they migrate away soon. But they’re fun visitors :)
Theo I wondered about the bread and whether it was good for them or not. But more, I was worried that they were wild ducks and that someone might decide to catch/kill/eat them. I’m not sure when duck hunting season is, but I know quite a few people in my neighborhood hunt. :(
Living in a coastal town in New England, we see many unusual birds that apparently are blown off course during our infamous nor’easters, but I’ve never seen a blue-billed duck. Are they gorgeous? I must look them up in one of husband’s many, many bird books – I wonder at what age the bill becomes blue. We live near a cove with a storm drain outlet, so warm-ish water is always entering the cove. This attracts lots of ducks and I am particularly fond the wood ducks we only infrequently see. This morning there were two adult swans and 3… Read more »
Thanks Constance. I haven’t seen (or perhaps hadn’t noticed) ducks with such blue beaks either. I looked them up and they were Pacific Black Ducks. That might be an Australian breed. It’s spring here, so swans and ducks and other birds are hatching their babies right left and centre. My dad was fond of all sorts of birds, and I used to take him down to a tidal lagoon where there were hundreds of birds, and in particular pelicans. He always used to recite the ditty that started: “A wonderful bird is a pelican, its beak holds as much as… Read more »
Aw, they are beautiful. I love ducks.
Thanks Pam. Ducks are somehow extra endearing, aren’t they?