Friday, March 30, 2012

Mallard Duck Project Update

Today was graduation day for Bill's little mallard duckies.  He moved the ducklings out of the outside shelter and released them into the irrigation lake where we have installed the mallard duck nesting tubes.  Hopefully this will be their new home and they will raise many more mallards in the future.  Catch up on the project by viewing Building Mallard Duck Nesting Tubes or by watching the  USGA Mallard Duck webcast.

Bill ordered 10 mallard duck chicks from and we received them on February 28.  We kept them in the maintenance building where they were fed and watered and kept warm with a small heat lamp.

After they had grown some, which did not take very long at all, Bill built an outside shelter for them where they had some more room, could get used to the outside temperatures, and quit stinking up the maintenance building.  They were very cute to look at while they were so small but they really did stink up the place.
The little ones in their outside home.  I was surprised by how much water they went through in a single day.  The watering container had to be filled up several times per day.  I guess that is why they call them water fowl.
Bill felt that they were ready to face the real world so he gathered them all up and took them over to one of the mallard duck nesting tubes and placed them inside.  The ducklings do not have their flight feathers yet but they should know the tubes are a safe place and will fly back up and use them.
After they all fell out of the nesting tube they swam back to the shore and gathered up in their normal huddle.  It was fun to watch them explore the new environment for a while and try swimming for the first time. 
We already have some new mallards on the pond using the nesting tubes so we hope these mallards will take our ducklings under their wing and show them the ropes.

Although Bill and Mitch have been the leaders of this project, I am very proud of all my staff for their hard work in completing another environmental conservation program at the golf course.  With the unsuccessful nesting of our Bald Eagles this year it is nice to turn around and have a successful nesting program of a different sort. 

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