Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Springtime with the ducks


When I was little, my mom would take us to the park downtown to feed the ducks. Since then, the park has been revamped with a new playground, fancy fencing around the "pond" (formerly a canal), and a pretty bridge.

We've been to lots of other parks around town, but never this one until today. Sure enough, the ducks were there waiting for us right by the parking lot! I was worried they might bother us at our picnic blanket if we fed them too close, but they weren't at all aggressive like geese can be. The boys had to follow them very slowly and throw the bread bits at a good distance so they wouldn't run away.


The ducks at our park were mostly Mallards, and sat or waddled about mostly in pairs -- one green-headed drake with one brown mottled hen. A flock of Mallards is called a sord.

The wild Mallard is the ancestor of most varieties of domestic duck. In areas where they are not native, such as New Zealand, populations of local subspecies can be negatively affected by interbreeding with feral Mallards.

We also found one Muscovy duck, who was definitely larger than the other ducks, and may have been blind, from how he was feeling his way along the rocks. He (she?) reminded me of the ugly duckling, although he wasn't a swan.


We took our library copy of The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese, a story about a Pekin duck who lives on the Yangtze River, and read it during our picnic.

One Duck StuckWhen we got home, Littlest found One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root, another library book I read to him this week, and "read" nearly the whole story from memory! So I have to recommend that one. :) He also liked Jane Yolen's story of Dimity Duck and her friend Frumity Frog.

The older boys enjoyed reading the short chapter book, Funny Frank, about a chicken who wants to swim like the ducks, and the farmer's wife who helps him.

I'm still waiting on Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, which is on the kindergarten booklists of most curriculums I've seen.

Do you have local ducks you like to visit?

7 comments:

Lynette said...

Sounds fun, I have been meaning to take the girls by that park. It looks so pretty.

{Bobbi} said...

What park is this Amanda with ducks? How fun!

Lisa said...

I have the warmest memories of feeding the ducks with my grandparents! We were feeding the ducks the other day. I love their quacking!!
have a great day
lisa

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

looks like a fun day!
we used to go to a duck/geese/wild bird preserve to feed them, but one day a bird flew into our van trying to get a french fry! After that the girls weren't too crazy about the idea of going back. My boys, on the other hand ,thought it was great!!!

princessmama said...

Our parks are all beginning to have signs that say "Please do not feed the ducks"

I do have some fun park/duck memories both of when I was a kid and a couple years ago with my boys. One of the funniest is when my youngest brother grabbed a giant white goose by the neck. Granted--funny only because neither he nor the goose was hurt!

That muscovy looks like a drake to me. The hens don't have so much caruncling (that's the red bumps on their face and head). He looks like he has quite a bit of caruncling around his eyes, which could impair his vision some. Muscovys also feel everything with their beaks. He could have been looking for bit of food in the rocks.

Ruth Branson said...

We love The Story of PIng and One Duck Stuck. And I just got notified that McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings (which I ordered through our library system a few weeks ago) just arrived at our library for our pickup...I've heard, too, that it's excellent! Apparently, there are a few videos (the old fashioned VHS kind) available, too, about McCloskey's duck stories.

Have fun!

Ruth

Christina said...

Hey wonderful friend! Guess what I have for you if you are ready for them. I have FIAR Volume 2 ready for sale with Make Way For Ducklings (FIAR Vol 2 has the curriculum for this book). I also have "Picture Book Activities" which is curriculum for younger ones like FIAR. Want any of it???

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