Our little orphans have grown up quite a bit. All have flight feathers, while the smallest is still a bit small. We have seen their test flights, awkward as they are. They are free to fly away if they so desire but it seems they will wait until they can all leave together.
It has also become apparent that they are all females! (We think)
They have been known to sit on heads, laps and shoulders. They whistle when they want your attention. It seems that wild ducks are as smart as they are beautiful.
That was a few weeks ago.
One day two flew away. Just gone. They came back that night. This was a trying experience for us. We thought that the third would be left on her own, she couldn’t yet fly! But relief was when the fly aways returned. A trial run that was a success .
Then they flew away again. This time only one returned. We will never know what happened to the fly away. Success can be limited. Flight testing continued for the next few weeks until the smallest, Bluebell, could really get going. Then it happened…. they flew away. This time though it was in the midst of a hawk attack!
My husband said in a flurry of feathers he was sure that the ducks were attacked. We have many hawks and have seen a juvenile come in close but never too close. And they were gone.
They returned a few days later. I was hanging laundry and there they were. A little food, a swim and a nice hug, they were at home again. The “attack” must have been a juvenile. I know an adult wouldn’t have gone away hungry. So, this is where we are ….wild ducks that come and go as they please. They come , I think, for R&R from the rigors of the wild.
It isn’t easy being a duck!