I wanted to post before I left at 4:30am (!!!) tomorrow for my vacation in Las Vegas. I diligently took pictures of the duck family in the courtyard at work and even took pictures of three new books I am taking with me on the trip (you can't spend ALL your time gambling when you are in Vegas for five days - one bird-related book, a new Pete Dunne book and a food book by Alice Waters, my culinary hero), but I left the USB cable for the camera at work. So this will be an old-fashioned blog post - no pix.
One of the six remaining ducklings died last week (the smallest one - we think it was the last of the adopted ones from Ethel's brood). I found it in the food bowl when I checked on the family one morning. It was curled up with its eyes closed, so I thought it was sleeping, but upon closer inspection, it was clearly dead. No obvious signs of trauma, so I don't know what caused its death, poor little thing.
The remaining five ducklings seem happy and are getting a little too comfortable around humans. The fountain they swim in is very shallow (maybe four or five inches), but the ducklings like to practice "zoom swimming" where they rocket underwater like sleek little otters. Quite amusing.
Since the fountain is getting polluted and the ducklings are getting comfortable with human interaction, we decided to set them free next week. The plan is to herd them through the short hallway that connects the courtyard with the rest of the campus. Lucy (Mama Duck) can then lead them to a new home. Staff have promised to take pictures of the release for me so I can post about it when I return from vacation.
Vegas and Birds:
I am looking forward to some down time in Las Vegas with good restaurants, lots of laughter, a few shows, lazing by the pool and of course, some blackjack. In the five years I have been making this annual pilgrimage, I have never gone birding (Vegas in July is damn hot and my mind is on other pursuits). All I tend to see are starlings and house sparrows anyway. So don't expect bird updates from Vegas, but there may be other things to write about. What happens in Vegas...will probably make it to my blog!