I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go. I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away.
-Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Desi, my one-year-old son (who will never wonder where the ducks go in winter), and I had a good time on Monday watching the ducks and the tourists and just hanging out at the southern end of Central Park, one of the greatest urban parks in the world. This despite the fact that we are in the depths of winter and at times we would have been better off if his stroller was equipped with runners instead of wheels. Desi loves ducks except when they take off from right next to him, which only happens when less thoughtful folks walk their dogs right up to the ducks. Who does that, especially when to get to the ducks you have to go out of your way? Goddam phonies…
Anyway, I hope you like this pair of Anas platyrhynchos as much as Desi liked the whole flock of Mallards.* You can click either image for a bigger version.
And, for the record, should all the fresh water in Central Park freeze over the ducks would fly away and look for open water elsewhere…
*I would be remiss if I didn’t also point out that Desi’s favorite duck is currently the fourth duck in this video.
What is it with Mallards and dogs? It’s the bill of the drakes, man, their bill! Sharon Birdchick had a link to the dog faces on ducks once. Awesomness!!
Showing youtube videos to Desi?
Try “little mole” or alternatively “der kleine maulwurf” (I think the German version has more videos and they aren’t talking anyway) / little red traktor / unser sandmännchen
Those are Erik’s favourites.
And those two photos are very good!
Oh geez. We went through a period where we had to watch that damn Elmo duck video about a dozen times a day. Though thankfully he’s mostly over it now and on to Big Bird, which I think bodes well.
What gorgeous shots of the mallards’ faces and the lovely plumage. No wonder Desi likes these ducks! He is very fortunate to have a father who shares the important things in life with him! BTW, I just love Central Park!
It’s not just New Yorkers and dogs chasing ducks. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been at a local lake or pond and someone lets their dog loose to chase the ducks. I’ve even seen people do it while others are trying to photographs the ducks or geese. It’s just so rude.
nice cool to see a bird in central park eh. lukey you.
@Jochen: Thanks! And Desi especially liked this one, though neither of us knew what was being said in the cartoon within the show.
@Nate: It can get a bit repetitive but Desi REALLY loves that last duck.
@Kathiesbirds: Please remember to tell Desi that when he is 14 or so.
@Carolyn H: I hear you. Dogs off leashes are one of my big pet peeves. (Did you see that clever pun there?)
@edwin hegge: Thanks…
Very cool close-ups. You can really see the dog-face on the drake’s bill in that shot. Sesame Street didn’t have that baby-talk Elmo character when I was kid. Have you introduced Desi to Bert “doing the pigeon” (its a dance folks, get your minds out of the gutter!)
Very Manhattan: in your face. The tens of thousands of Greater scaup off Gravesend Bay, on the other hand, are outer borough standoff-ish.
@Robert (Birding is Fun!): I am oddly not bothered by Elmo. His voice, while high-pitched, does not devolve into baby talk so far as I can tell and his song pieces are cute (oh, man, I have to get out more). I will introduce Desi to doing the pigeon seeing as he is fascinated by the pigeons he sees every day.
@Matthew: Yeah, those Manhattan birds are not shy…then again, the ducks at Prospect Park are pretty forward too.
@Corey: the story is about the “Little King” who had washed his favourite shirt and pants and didn’t realize they had shrunk in the process. He was absolutely convinced that he had turned “big” over night and was now a grown-up. So the narrator tries to convince him and he always “proves” that he is big, in e.g. being bigger than his horse (which is lying on the ground) or picking up a tiny apple (which is a plum). Then he points out his HUGE shadow until the narrator tells him that everyone has a huge shadow at sunset, and finally the Little King is convinced. Then he goes to change clothes and returns jokingly telling his horse that “something terrible has happened – I have shrunk! – Just kidding!”.