Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nature or Nurture?

I was recently doing a little online research and discovered this quite extraordinary video on youtube of this duck riding on some young chap's surf board. It's the most peculiar thing. I don't know whether he's trained it to perform this trick (as I do know ducks have acute learning abilities) or it's simply a remarkable freak of nature and the duck has landed on his board. I might look further into this. 

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A photo

The sun was shining this morning and I felt inspired to shoot a few frames out on the pond. I'm beginning to enjoy the new digital camera and it's instant gratification, the colours are on par with a lot of prints, although nothing will come close to the vivid colors of shooting transparencies.

Regardless, meet "hombre", he loves the water and socialising!

Harry's Practising with some ducks

I've been doing some reading and reminiscing on the days of Australian television where animals became stars of the small screen. Don Burke and Dr Harry (pictured) featured wholesome animals and presented them in a way which warmed my feather loving heart. Today I see the only shows with animals in them are "Vet emergency" or "Circus Animal Mishaps", its horrible the way these animals are exploited for a half hour prime time slot, the shows produced for people with short attention spans.

The following is a shot taken on a property not unlike mine where Harry shot a "duck" segment for his programme. It looks like it was a lovely day!

In the shot you can see a duck which reminds me so much of my beloved "Whitebeard", my favorite feathered friend. He is right at the front of the shot, a white duck with a black patch over his eye and darker wing feathers. Always in trouble was Whitebeard but a lovelier duck I have never known.

So please petition the networks to bring back these shows with Dr Harry and Don Burke... Respect our wildlife!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Big Ducks...

I spent my weekend in Sydney visiting my daughter and her family (she says I bought the rain with me) and I noticed some disturbingly odd things regarding the local feathered population. Not since Plucka-duck entertained us on "hey hey its Saturday" have I seen such an over fed and huge duck, but not just one! We spent Sunday around the Eastern suburbs beaches and I couldn't help but notice how massive many of the local ducks are. I guess the ducks eat more or only the larger stronger ducks survive here... I noticed that not many people were parting with their hot chips (it was a little cold that day after all) but many families were feeding the local ducks bread, almost by the loaf at the beach... If 10 families spend a Sunday afternoon feeding these birds it dawned on me that these ducks are eating a LOT of carbohydrate filled bread....
It was strange to see these slightly built willy-wag tails and other small natives of threatened species flying around these "superducks", the ducks did seem particularly boisterous.... like a pack of teens almost.

If anyone is noticing similar phenomenon please email me your thoughts. I'm particularly perplexed currently regarding these ducks, perhaps I might contact some friends in Sydney to see if they are aware of the same.
I'll keep you all posted.

Friday, January 18, 2008

And I thought I loved ducks!!!!!!

Thanks for the site guys I get lost in for hours at a time. I'll try to bring the best bits to my blog.... there will always be a link from my site though.

Duck Icons

Some fun for the duck enthusiasts! My poll is up and running on the right of screen.... who is it going to be? (any extra contenders please advise me!!!)


Also if anyone has any collectable merchandise featuring either of the 2 please let me know because as you know I love all things webbed!!

"Ducks & Geese"

Just a nice video an old colleague from Oregon sent me of his grandchildren enjoying the "ducks and geese"

From Crackle: "Ducks & Geese"


We are all aware of the plight of the blue-bill particularly here on the east-coast of Australia, but recently things have become a little more dire. My friend Ian at NPWS has been working in the ongoing research into the blue-bill habitats around the Murray basin and in findings that are yet to be published he has told me that nothing is improving for the blue-bills...

Drought, forest fires, pesticide use and hunting is still threatening the species so please familiarise yourselves with the blue-bills so that we may still see them in the metropolitan beaches in summer as we once did in abundance. The sight of the males "mating time" blue bill is worth every effort in saving the species. Again look at

Blue-billed Duck - profile

The Blue-billed Duck is one of only two Australian species of stiff-tailed ducks - diving ducks with spine-like tail-feathers. It is a small and compact duck, with a length of 40 cm. The male's head and neck are glossy black, and the back and wings are a rich, chestnut to dark-brown. During the summer breeding season the male's bill turns bright blue. The female is brownish-black above, with narrow bands of light brown and mottled light brown and black below. The female's bill is dark grey-green. In the non-breeding season the male resembles a dark female. The tail is usually held flat on the water, although during courtship, or when alarmed, it is held fully erect.

The Blue-billed Duck is endemic to south-eastern and south-western Australia. It is widespread in NSW, but most common in the southern Murray-Darling Basin area. Birds disperse during the breeding season to deep swamps up to 300 km away. It is generally only during summer or in drier years that they are seen in coastal areas.

Pet Ducks

This post is for my young niece Jeniffer... Every time she comes to visit me she loves playing with the ducks around my property (especially is captivated by the cute little ducklings) and constantly she alludes to perhaps owning her own pet duck. I thought that I would post a link and some very useful advice regarding the best way to rear young ducklings so that you may have happy and healthy drakes and ducks! I know that all the ducks that I have come to know over the decades have each bought a piece of joy to my life and with this advice I know each of you can look after your flock as well as they look after you!

Ducks as Pets
Pet ducks will entertain you with their antics and eat pesky slugs and snails. A female will produce abundant eggs.

To look after ducklings all you need is a large cardboard box, some shavings or straw, a heat lamp, a feeder and a waterer. As they grow, they will need more space and less heat. Keep an eye on the birds; if they stay away from the heat, turn it off, if they get their pen messy quickly, they need more bedding and more space. By 5 or 6 weeks they can probably be outside all the time in good weather.

Ducks need a deep enough water bowl so they can dip their heads in water 2 or 3 times a day. They need to wash their eyes otherwise they can get dry eyes and cataracts.

A single pet duck can make a great pet but you should make sure you have enough time to devote to your duck. Make sure you get your duck very young or incubate the egg yourself and be the first thing he or she sees when it hatches. You will need to spend a lot of time bonding with your duck so that you and your family become the duck's flock. So you’ll need to devote yourself to playing and just being with your duck everyday, on top of the usual cleaning and feeding duties.

Ducks are social animals and will suffer if they don't have companionship. So if you can't make this commitment for the full 12 or so years a duck can live, you should get two or more ducks.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ducks Revenge!!!

Please cast an eye over this piece of hilarity that I found whilst researching duck-hunt sites. Please notice my new uploaded video section on the right of the page and pay close attention to the grab at the top of the pile. After petitioning the shooting parties with varying results I'm so happy to see this grab which now resides in my "ducktube" (my feathered version of you-tube). I find the advertisement absolutely joyous and can't imagine a more perfect TV commercial. Please my duck enthusiast friends....Enjoy!