Sorry about the radio silence, but I had a couple of final exams to write, proctor, and grade as soon as I got back to Shorewood, so I took a couple of cloudy days off. The sun was out this morning, however, and my grading is done, so I went to see what’s new in Estabrook.

Besides all the leaves on the trees, which weren’t there when I left, another big difference you may have noticed recently is the complete lack of geese on the pond. It appears that while I was a way, Mom and Dad decided it was time to hike their brood down to the river, which they’ve done on almost the same day every year I’ve been observing them. All that was left was a couple of mallards, a few wood ducks, some turtles, and a whole lot of red-winged blackbirds.

I headed to the river myself, and soon found at least two families of Canada geese. Perhaps one of them is our family of cuties from the pond.

A bit north of the geese, I could hear a bunch of little birds peeping incessantly, but I couldn’t spot them until I looked down to find this fresh-looking brood of mallard ducklings all by their lonesome!

I am sure you will be as relieved as I was to learn that Mom was just down river a bit, perhaps to take care of some unfinished business, and once they spotted her, they made a beeline.

Here’s the happy reunion, although one duckling looks maybe a little miffed about the whole affair.

Anyway, as I was watching that heart-warming scene unfold, another mom came paddling over with her ducklings safely in tow, and here she is with one of them.

I had hardly gone another 100 yards when I heard a different kind of baby cry. This time, they were raccoons, and there was an adult with at least two little ones, probably three, scattered from the treetops, …

through eye-level, …

to the ground. Maybe a little one fell out of the tree and had to be retrieved.

Whoever is in charge of this bunch has sure got their paws full.

Lastly, all that toad action we saw almost three weeks ago has already paid off!

There were too many pollywogs to count!

Finally, these aren’t strictly baby pictures, but they’re closely related, so here you go.

First, here’s a pair of tree swallows working on making more. It took him a few tries, but he finally stuck the landing.

Here’s a pair of Baltimore orioles collecting nesting materials. Well, at least she is. Maybe he’s keeping watch.

And here’s a great blue heron who just couldn’t seem to decide on which stick to keep. This short, crooked one?

Or maybe this long, straight one.

I took a bunch of other pictures, too, but this post is already too long, and they’ll just have to wait for a rainy day…

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

2 thoughts on “ Babies-a-Poppin’!

  1. > welcome back! i think i sent a message to you that was meant for an elderly friend…sorry. i send him your posts, which he enjoys immensely. > >>


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