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March 2, 2013 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Thoughts of Spring and Ducklings

Snowy Mourning DovesSnow finally arrived in Chicago with a storm last week that dumped about 8 inches in my area. For a while on Tuesday it was blizzard conditions with everyone, including birds, hunkering down and waiting for it to pass.

A pair of Mourning Doves commandeered the finch feeder and sat there for a few hours. Everyone else was hiding. I gave up trying to keep the feeders clear and waited until the next day. Even this morning as I look outside the window into my backyard, there are only a few Starlings hanging around.

I am ready for spring and counting the days. No more snow pictures for me. So I turned to my archive of photos from the past.

Mallard Ducklings

These photos are from the first week of June last year. The small park where I go for my walks was bursting with wildlife and flowers.

Juvenile Mallards

The ducklings are always a joy to watch. Within 24 hours of hatching they are on the water and swimming. When I arrived at the pond the mother Mallard was giving her youngsters some lessons on finding food.

Mallards_Eating_IMG_2602

A couple of weeks earlier I had spotted the nest on a small island in the middle of the pond so I knew ducklings would be appearing soon. Mom was sleeping and dad was keeping watch.

Nesting Mallards


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.

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34 Comments

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  1. Christine Harding / Mar 2 2013 9:10 am

    I didn’t read your post properly, and one moment I thought you had ducklings now! When I walked along the canal yesterday the mallard had nearly all paired off, but there were still some with two drakes following on either side of a female, keeping her as close as could be…

    Like

  2. BermudaOnion / Mar 2 2013 9:17 am

    I’m ready to see babies too. Our whole neighborhood enjoyed the goslings that were born here last year.

    Like

  3. laurelrainsnow / Mar 2 2013 9:19 am

    I love the wild look of your park….it reminds me of the one in my neighborhood that I keep meaning to capture for these posts. And mourning doves are favorites of mine. They take me back to evenings of my childhood and that poignant sound.

    Here’s MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 2 2013 10:22 am

      As soon as I hear them cooing I know spring is here.

      Like

  4. Darlene / Mar 2 2013 9:29 am

    I love the summery pictures especially since we’re going to get another four inches of snow today into tomorrow. I agree – enough snow and winter already!

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 2 2013 10:23 am

      This was our first big snow of the year and I’m tired of it already.

      Like

  5. Trish / Mar 2 2013 9:32 am

    Aww ducklings always make me smile! Yes, I’m ready for some spring, too.

    Like

  6. cherylmahoney / Mar 2 2013 9:34 am

    Aww, I always love watching ducklings! And how nice to see a two-parent duck family! I seem to always be seeing single duck-moms at my local park.

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 2 2013 10:25 am

      Dad was good at protecting the nest but he was nowhere in sight when she had the youngsters out looking for food.

      Like

  7. Jennifer Ryder / Mar 2 2013 10:17 am

    I was happy to hear cardinals singing this morning instead of the “chipping” sound they make all winter. I’ll take that as a sign of spring coming and I’m more than ready.
    Yay – Daylight Savings Time starts next weekend!!

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 2 2013 10:26 am

      I’ve been hearing cardinals for two weeks now and last weekend I heard a Song Sparrow singing. It’s nice to hear the bird world come alive again.

      Like

  8. Beth Hoffman / Mar 2 2013 10:40 am

    While we don’t have the snow here in Kentucky like you do, it’s been bitter cold. We have so many feathered friends that I’m constantly filling the feeders. I’m eager for spring, too!

    Like

  9. Melwyk / Mar 2 2013 12:19 pm

    I am also so ready for NO MORE SNOW. It’s been quite a stormy week and shovelling is getting to be a bit much 🙂 I want Spring. Haven’t heard the cardinals yet here in my spot of Canada, or much else really. Sigh. These pictures were a tonic!

    Like

  10. Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf / Mar 2 2013 12:58 pm

    I love ducks and ducklings! When I was in college there was a pond nearby where a huge flock (?) lived and my roommates and I used to go feed them occasionally and watch them play 🙂 Here’s my Saturday Snapshot post!

    Like

  11. Sheila (Book Journey) / Mar 2 2013 1:08 pm

    Oh those birds in the snow! I am soooo over it as well… come on spring!

    Like

  12. Elizabeth / Mar 2 2013 1:14 pm

    What a great photo….bring on spring PLEASE.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My Saturday Snapshot

    Like

  13. Suko / Mar 2 2013 1:21 pm

    Lovely photos, Leslie! I hope spring will arrive soon in your area. You’ve had enough snow!

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 3 2013 9:25 am

      The snow is apparently not finished yet. More is predicted for Tuesday.

      Like

  14. edgarone2 / Mar 2 2013 1:40 pm

    We have ducks and geese in the river and ponds nearby. They float and fly and make conversational sounds. And fill time with pleasure.

    Very nice photos.

    Like

  15. Alyce (@AtHomeWithBooks) / Mar 2 2013 2:09 pm

    Ducklings are so cute! I’m ready for spring weather for sure. We’ve had colder weather than normal here in the past few weeks, so I was shocked when I saw the beginnings of blooms on two cherry trees this week. We have many of them in our town, so it was surprising to me that only these two trees seem to be getting ready to bloom. It makes me think that they must be a different variety than the others.

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 3 2013 9:27 am

      I have been looking for signs of blooms on my walks but so far nothing. Last year bulbs were already popping up by March and many trees were in full bloom by April 1st but this year it’s been much colder here too.

      Like

  16. lmkazmierczak / Mar 2 2013 2:12 pm

    The birds seem to be coming back out here in the Chicagoland sticks…saw a couple of blue jays, cardinals and a red headed woodpecker along a wooded area of my rural route today♫♪ My SS: http://lore-eleven.blogspot.com/2013/02/fun-with-sundials.html

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 3 2013 9:29 am

      The bluejay was back at my feeder this weekend after being gone for a few months… presumably to a warmer area.

      Like

  17. irene / Mar 2 2013 6:36 pm

    I am so ready for spring.

    Like

  18. Nise' (Under the Boardwalk) / Mar 2 2013 7:53 pm

    We got dumped on too. Today was a sunny day and I saw a cardinal in the tree while I sat in the hot tub and read (without a camera).

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 3 2013 9:38 am

      You need one of those waterproof cameras! My cardinal was singing again this morning, a good sign of spring. Now if it would just warm a bit I’d be singing too.

      Like

  19. nrlymrtl / Mar 3 2013 10:55 am

    One of our geese started laying 2 weeks ago, but it’s too cold still for the eggs to be viable. So we are learning to cook with them. We also have ducks and this will be our first spring with them. I think some of them should be old enough to have ducklings, which we are really looking forward to. Great pics.

    Like

  20. Susan / Mar 3 2013 1:23 pm

    Aren’t ducklings just the sweetest to watch? I love how they flock and ‘copy’ each other’s behavior … all under the watchful eye of mama duck!

    Like

  21. Lisa / Mar 3 2013 5:27 pm

    I’m ready for spring and sunshine and ducklings! Great pictures.

    Like

  22. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Mar 3 2013 7:53 pm

    Wow — so sweet:) It seems early for baby ducklings in Chicago?

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 3 2013 9:14 pm

      Way too early … I took these last June.

      Like

  23. Louise / Mar 4 2013 6:32 am

    Ducklings are so very cute. Gorgeous pictures.

    Like

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