Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chilled Duck

It seems as though Mother Nature has been playing April Fool's jokes on the neighborhood ducks in the past few days. Despite the earlier spring weather, we've receded into winter and have been getting regular snowfall. During the deepest fall, the mallards and wood duck looked positively perturbed, but that didn't stop them from visiting my yard to forage.

Watching ducks waddle through the snow is more amusement than I've seen in weeks - they looked like legless boats rocking precariously on the surface of a white, powdery sea. What's more, their expressions were undeniably disgruntled, yet they persisted. The wood duck and one of the mallard hens stationed themselves beneath my hopper feeder; she proceeded to shovel through the snow with her bill in order to vacuum up spilled millet and black oil sunflower seeds, while he kept a close eye on the mallard drake roaming the patio. Eventually, however, the hen decided that a better bet for sustenance would be the bread scraps I obligingly tossed onto the patio - in fact, it was so tasty she didn't bother to shake the snow from her bill.

While the calendar may say it's spring, in many places winter weather still prevails and we must not get disgruntled ourselves when the birdbath needs cleaning or the feeders need refilling. While I'm not about to put my hummingbird feeders out and the landscaping is currently on hold until the weather clears for more than a few hours, I can't help but notice how faithful - or at least how greedy - the backyard birds are when they know they can count on a rich food source. Will you be faithful to them?

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