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I got all excited late this morning as I was ready to run out, I noticed sandhill cranes walking up to the stump, walking as if they knew that bird seed was always there. I was so excited thinking finally the new baby is coming by for its first official visit. But upon looking at the pair, there was no baby and their color was not rusty and the male had a distinct shape to his head and a very crisp red top that was different from Papa crane.
4209newcranemale1a This males red head was ‘humpier’ than papa crane. Trust me on this, there is a difference.
The pair stayed here all afternoon, taking time to sit in the shade
of the camphor tree and then at around 5pm, they got up and began to play and toss weeds about as they did their silly dancing.

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They played for about fifteen minutes and then started their trumpeting. Loud and clear they trumpeted across the lake. I went inside and shortly after that my son told me we had 4 cranes in the yard. All the shouting had brought in the Mama and papa crane, without their baby. The new cranes looked unsure of what to do and the male moved away and left the female to deal with the locals.
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My rusty cranes then chased off the new couple and when they knew the cranes were gone, they trumpeted their victory and took off and flew back to their nest where I suppose they left the baby.
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Maybe they did not like the idea that another couple would try and move in during their absence. It
amazes me how territorial these birds become and yet, they still have not brought the new baby by. In fact
they did not even touch any of the bird seed on the stump, they came, kicked ass and left, all in a matter of about
ten minutes.  It makes me wonder if they think that since they have lived here so long, they can claim the whole
neighborhood as their own? Nothing bird brained about that!

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The female Pekin ducks have been hanging around
the males too long. Now they are emulating the same
behavior. This morning after the male mafia had been
on shore, mobboss1

they all consorted with Elvis and followed the Pekin twins around, (no eggs so far this morning).
And after the males left, the girls were swimming and one  jumped on top of the other and
waterboarded her repeatedly for about a minute and then both came on shore and were BFF,
(best friends forever). This domination ‘game’ is crossing genders and I guess the females are
prone to acting out for showing who is boss of who just as the males do. I don’t know if Lily was
the boss or Daisy, but they have been corrupted by those mean mallard-mixes who use waterboarding
as normal domination we are discovering.
The baby heron was out this morning sitting on the trunk of my dead tree, I tried fishing a bit,
but he wandered off.
The day looks gloomy, supposed to make it to 90 degrees possibly. The humidity is already making my hair
frizz like the bride of Frankenstein, next thing I know there will be birds nesting in my hair as I fish!

Gotta go get ready to start the day….. Here’s a happy photo, a bee doing the right thing… not stinging me!
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I found two more abandoned duck eggs in the lake this morning.  I figure they were just  more unfertilized eggs and put them by the stump for the blackbirds to enjoy.
The baby crane was on the island walking with her parents, but could not get a clear photo. The baby heron actually came across my lake front and perched next door on a downed limb overlooking the lake. I figured I would fish a while and maybe his mother would fly down and notice her missing baby. That didn’t happen. But I did catch a small bream and threw it within ten feet of him. The heron did not notice until the fish began struggling and the heron’s  whole body language changed; his neck elongated, he stood straight and rushed for the fish which tumbled forward back into the lake, he lost the fish, but did show a big interest. Maybe later when I fish I will but a bucket of fish under his norfolk pine so he can have a midnight snack!
The ducks were swimming around the water near the shore line when suddenly Crabs jumped on one of the twins.
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He totally dominated her holding her lily-white neck with his beak and submerging her little Peking face over and over underwater. At one point it looked like he would drown her.

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Poor little girl was so very distressed looking. Ducks are such
hardcore lovers! It did not last long, but the Peking duck left aside was so concerned, she quacked and was noticeably cognizant that something weird was going on and stayed as close to the pair as she could. It looked like a waterboarding technique as the poor Peking’s
face kept disappearing under the water. Finally he turned sideways and dismounted.
Daisy and Lily were then side by side and Carbs swam on shore and slept, (typical male). The girls swam around for awhile and did come on shore and walked around. I have those two other eggs I put on the porch yesterday and will see if they show signs of life in a couple days.
Once we had a poor female muscovy come visit a few years ago, she came on the property and at that time we had the ‘band of brothers’, three mixed mallard looking ducks that stayed together all the time. When they came ashore and saw the female, all three of them were trying to gang rape the poor duck. She was panicing and went into the corner of where my porch and house form and L and the males tried ravaging her. I took a broom and shooed them away and got her on the porch for a while until the males finally left, (the next day). The muscovy seemed fine away from the males and when I left the door back open, she looked hesitant upon leaving. Ducks “do it” with anger, the attitude of the male duck in mating mode is downright cruel. I am happy to say the girls seem no worse for the wear.
I suppose if Elvis visits tomorrow, Carbs can dish out his mating details. Dee, my neighbor might be right about inviting one muscovy and you get them all. I guess I could set up a duck egg stand every morning for fresh duck eggs- and a free duck to go with it…

Today was a wonderful example of the kindness of nature with the birth of the new crane, and at the same time, the cruelty with the baby heron who must have fallen from that tall pine. Though at least I did see him make it to the water so I assume he at least had a drink of water and possibly ate some minnows. The baby heron remains quiet even when I hear one of the parents in the tree call out from the nest as I did tonight.  Though the mother still fished with me as if nothing was askew.  I noticed the baby heron both on the property where the tall pine is and hanging out next door, so he is sticking close to home, though I did not see him the whole time I was fishing.
Tonight for the third night he used his wings as arms climbing up the norfolk pine at the base. It pulls it self up to stay safe, at least it has good coping skills. Tomorrow I will fish and save a fish in a bucket for him. Ringo looked a bit too curious, but that heron is a lot taller than Ringo the cat!  The last I looked the heron looked tucked into the tree.
So here’s a good night from the babies of Loch Arbor in Sanford, Florida…
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good night from the baby heron…

This morning Elvis and Carbs were yakking it up and then the Pekin twins swam over . They get so excited one or both of them layed an egg as there was one on shore and one in the water. dsc00681 I brought them both up to see what happens in 3 days, the candle test to see if they are fertile.
dsc00691 I doubt they are. Somehow, Carbs and Elvis seem to like each other more than they like the girls.
On my way to check out the crane progress, I noted one of the baby heron’s folks way up in the nest. (I had binoculars with me). I wondered if they had found the baby.  So I hurried to look at the crane, and Mama crane was sitting on the nest and indulged me as she stood and rolled the egg and sat back down.
resizenestingcrane Back home I went and walked into the backyard and who did I see peering over the seawall at the neighbors but the baby heron. He looks well, but still confused.
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Tonight I hope he is still there as his mother will come down and I hope she will spot him. You can see he wants to get down to the water, but there is a 4 foot drop to the shoreline. If only he would walk over to my yard it has a natural slope down to the waters edge.  The baby could catch minnows then like this small gray heron. resizesmallheron

dsc00016Woke up this morning and went out to feed critters and no Carbs. I didn’t see him anywhere around the lake. The girls came swimming up about fifteen minutes later, they did not see their man-duck and swam off. Yesterday Elvis had come to visit.
31809ducks-11 He and Carbs and the girls all yakked it up on the bank and then Elvis flew off and the girls left.

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Carbs has taken to jumping up on the stump and eating the bird seed, he doesn’t care a ducks ass about Ringo hiding to sabbotage the birds.

Will let you know if he comes back, maybe he is visiting Elvis??? It’s only 10:am – Do you know where Carbs is???

Now it’s 5pm, Carbs has a hiding place underneath the fallen tree, I called and called and finally went to the waters edge and saw a little red duck head peek out when he heard me.
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So he is still here, enjoying life in Abbesworld, and I’m
so happy he still likes it here, enough to hang out and be a duck model….

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