Friday 31 October 2008

Broken-legged duckling

We have a YouTube video of a wild duck with a broken leg (see below). I have wondered how s/he fared all summer and into the fall. We can't identify them, as they travelled in families all summer, visited our shore, but their numbers dwindled.

We knew we had several families: there was a family of 10, another of 6 and 5 and one small family of 3. These were born later in the season and in July we could tell how by their size how much younger they were.

I enjoyed watching them all season. They sheltered from predators and irritating tourists alike. We have a couple of human families who would bring young children by in quiet kayak patrols to watch in fascination at our ducklings sleeping on our rock island. (They were so well camouflaged that they looked like rocks!) Our human visitors were respectful and honoured the sleeping souls.

We know that predators visit our lakeshore. They troll along, searching for weak and young prey. The cycle of life is quick and fair. A duck with a broken leg cannot forage as well as others. I believe it would save the duck from pain and suffering. It was obviously in pain as it swam our shore. Poor thing. It would not feed as long as the others; would tire out and tragically swim to a spot to rest. Such is the cycle of life. Shortly they will fly south and brave the fall hunters. I wish them well on their journeys.

1 comment:

Junosmom said...

yes, we see a lot of this in our backyard. Other critters need to eat, too. Sad, but true.