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Wild mallard ducks vacation in a local backyard

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 6:23 am in Ducks, Mallard duck.

Tinker-bell and Puddles. Photo by Lynda Nunn, Walnut Creek, CA.
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We moved to Walnut Creek in November, 2010. Soon after, these beautiful ducks appeared and became like pets to us. Daily feeding, swimming in our pool.  We have lovingly  named  each one … Tinker-bell & Puddles. Suddenly  I have not seen them nor any ducks. We live in the Northgate area, close to reservoirs  and creeks.  Where did they go and will they return back here?

Male mallard duck. Photo by Lynda Nunn, Walnut Creek, CA
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I have grown to care so much for them as have our daughters, and even our Lab Ruby tolerated their quacks and poop. Please let me know if you have any knowledge. Until then, I continue to look for them and put feed out.
Lynda Nunn, Walnut Creek, California

Wild ducks are funny. One day they’ll be flying along, like this male and female mallard, look down and see your swimming pool and perceive it as just another local “pond.” They’ll swoop down and maybe hang around the “pond” for a day or two and then move on. Or like Tinker-bell and Puddles, they’ll stay for an extended period of time. Especially if you feed them.

And sometimes, if it’s a male and a female (like these two), they may even build a nest, lay eggs and try to raise a family. If you ever think something like that is going on, please contact me immediately and let’s talk about it. Backyard ducklings rarely survive, due to cats, raccoons, skunks, owls, hawks, etc. But that’s a whole other story, which we can discuss in the future if you ever think it’s starting to happen.

Obviously, the two ducks have decided it’s time to move on. Maybe they saw some other ducks fly overhead, which stimulated an urge to join them. Who knows? I do know that sooner or later, this was going to happen. They may be paddling around in a nearby reservoir or creek, or they could be out in the Delta someplace with a bunch of other mallards.

I’m sure they enjoyed their stay — a little vacation, if you will. Will they be back? Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe tomorrow, maybe a month from now, maybe next year. Or not. You’ll just have to wait and see. It wouldn’t surprise me if they paid you another visit in the future. I know of other local backyards where they have done this. Let us know if they do. /Gary

Female mallard duck. Photo by Lynda Nunn, Walnut Creek, CA
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One Response to “Wild mallard ducks vacation in a local backyard”

  1. Jerry Persons Says:

    pls send a copy of your raccoon facts … great column, read you daily ! THANKS

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