Sunday, March 20, 2011

Diamond Duck

Spring still hasn't quite arrived here in my part of Utah, but it is getting closer. Ice has receded on many ponds and shores, and for a short visit today we strolled along one of those shores in American Fork, at a pond where mallards and their manky relatives stay the winter. In a dirty little secret of mine, we took along a very small hunk of bread to feed the flock - just a rare treat, and never so much to foul the water - and it was well received.

One of the flock, a white domestic duck that appeared to have clipped wings but is no less brave and curious for his affliction, was bold enough to nibble from - and on - my fingertips for a few scraps. As I was feeding him, it was to my astonishment that he kept trying to take bread when I had no more to give at that moment, until I realized he wasn't actually nipping at my fingertips, but rather at my left ring finger and the diamond that glitters there. He was quite insistent even after I'd moved my finger away - a duck with very good taste.

Two notes about such visits to a pond, whether you're in Utah or anywhere your pond may rest - never feed bread frequently to the birds, as it offers no more nutrition to them than a candy bar would to you, and too much bread is unhealthy and unwise. Second, always keep an eye open for fishing line that could strangle and injure waterfowl and other birds; we collected quite the clump today. For a quick treat and a quick rescue from what could have been, it was a very lovely lazy Sunday walk.


Bill S. said...

My unfavorite place to bird is where people feed bread to ducks. It is just a mess especially in the spring as the snow and ice melt. Great advise on feeding them and the look out for fishing line.

birdermurdermomma said...

Hi Melissa!

We're still waiting for spring here in Minnesota, too. Last week we had flocks of robins at the MN Landscape Arboretum, and lovely spring walking weather, but today winter has revisited. I want to go back into my cave and sleep some more...