Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Columbus Park: New Ducklings Have Hatched, Old Goslings Have Learned to Fly July 21, 2009

We’ve got lots of news to share about the ducks and geese at Columbus Park on Chicago’s Westside. First, two families of Mallards have appeared within the past week. One family has two ducklings that are at least a week old:

This Mallard family had two ducklings that were more than a week old.

This Mallard family has two ducklings that were more than a week old.

The other family has seven babies that are just a few days old:

The mother Mallard led her brood to safety, but one duckling was already lagging behind.

The mother Mallard leads her brood to safety, but one duckling is already lagging behind

We were getting worried about our Mallards. The female Mallards had gone into hiding months ago, building nests and trying to hatch some young. They must have had a rough time with predators and such, since it took them so long to be successful.

Meanwhile, the ducklings in the Wood Duck family are now about six weeks old. We have not seen them fly yet, but they are becoming much more independent of their mother. She still keeps an eye on me when I try to take their photo:

A mother Wood Duck watches me while five of her young hide in the leafy branches around here. The other four seem to have wandered off.

The mother Wood Duck watches me while five of her young hide in leafy branches around her (you can't really see them). The other four ducklings seem to have wandered off.

However, at least some of the young Wood Ducks wander off as I approach, and she can no longer call them all together into a tight bunch to swim for cover.

Here are three previous posts about this Wood Duck family:

The young Canada Geese we’ve been following are now eleven weeks old. A few weeks ago they learned to fly, and now we see them every other time we go to the Park. (Today we did not see them.) Here’s our last photo of this family, taken on July 11, right after they had flown in from another part of the lagoon:

The three young Canada Geese in this photo are nine-and-a-half weeks old.

The three young Canada Geese in this July 11 photo are nine-and-a-half weeks old. They are almost as big as their parents!

Here are links to five previous posts about this Canada Goose family:

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To learn more about Mallard families, you can check these websites:

  • All About Birds – Basic information about Mallard natural history, including nesting.
  • Wikipedia – Encyclopedia-style information about Mallards.

To learn more about how Wood Ducks raise their young, you can check these websites:

  • All About Birds – Basic information about Wood Duck natural history, including nesting.
  • YouTube – First of a series of videos of Wood Ducks hatching and leaving the nest.
  • Wikipedia – Encyclopedia-style information about Wood Ducks.
  • Daily Herald – Story about how Wood Ducks are becoming more common in urban areas.
  • Squidoo. Great video of baby Wood Ducks jumping out of nest (half way down the page).

To learn more about Canada Goose families, you can check these websites:

  • All About Birds – Basic information about Canada Goose natural history, including nesting.
  • Wikipedia – Encyclopedia-style information about Canada Geese.

 

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