Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thirteen Is Too Much Of A Good Thing - Or Why I Have Started Moving The Muscovy Ducks On

Too much of a good thing I guess, but it is time to move the house guests on.

Oh I don't mind them, but I most certainly mind their mess.

Them are the ducks.  Muscovy Ducks that are semi-tame.  They're considered domestic fowl, so they fit in the same category as a stray cat or dog.  Mind you, animal welfare has enough to do and doesn't want them.  What I will have to do is become a nuisance, annoy them.

Why would I want to run them off?  They are for the most part harmless.   They walk through the yard cropping grass and removing insects.

I know that doesn't answer the question.  It is time for a little story.

I was sitting in my bouncy Poang chair next to the window.   It is about a yard away from the window, and I can just touch it if I try and have a bendy day.  These windows on the house are what are called "Impact Glass".  Think of the stuff that your bank has at the teller windows although they may be either thinner or thicker.  Not sure there.

Great things, they quiet down the noises on the street.  If you live in an urban environment, you know what a blessing that is.  The house itself has fans and mechanical clocks and air conditioning running so the place is never completely silent.

Yes, air conditioning in February.  It's South Florida after all.

It was after 8 at night.  I couldn't find anything on the TV to watch and I didn't want to resort to the internet.  I was doing some technical reading.  Sliding into my consciousness with all the speed of a snail I hear wheezing. 

Ducks on the front porch. 

Figuring that they would move on after looking in the front door I would return to what I was doing.

After too long of a while they were still at it.  I got up and walked to the door.  There was a writhing pile of four ducks mating on the front porch.  Think of four mostly black feathered thanksgiving turkeys the size of a football, US or Otherwise, each trying to make more baby ducks.   They didn't like my watching over their "love making" efforts and began to unravel from the pile.  The two not directly engaged, I guess they were some sort of duck cheerleaders, peeled off and started to leave. 

The other two kept at it. 

I began to flap my arms like wings.  I became a giant, almost two meter tall, 6'4" bird.  Since Big Bird is taller than me, and not available, I started to make other noises.  High pitched "BL!BL!BL!BL!" noises.  That snapped the two lovers out of their reverie and they began to drag themselves apart and off my porch.  

To make sure they didn't return, I started following them about a yard behind. 

"BL!BL!BL!BL!" I said!  "BL!BL!BL!BL!"
"HISShiss! HISShiss!" they replied while flapping their webbed feet along, slowly.  Seriously, you could actually pick one up, they don't move all that fast.

I managed to chase them all off the front porch and yard and returned to my reading.

A half hour later I got prepared for the evening Dog Walk.

Did I not say it was too much of a good thing with these ducks?  I had to chase them off after they turned the area under my Jeep into a Duck Toilet, but this... was something resembling either a plague or a Hitchcock movie.

There were, quite literally, thirteen of the beasts in my front yard.  Thirteen adult ducks using the yard as a rest stop and mating station.  There were ducks in my hedges.  There were ducks on the grass.   There were ducks hissing at me and my dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM).

It was clearly time to act.

The ducks began to spread out.  Rack has no real prey drive, doesn't understand that a McNab Dog is one of the best herding breeds known to man.  Herding Breeds don't kill, they merely collect the livestock into a clump and move them on.

But, Rack has no herding drive that we have ever noticed.

Fine.  I  am the alpha dog here anyway.  "Come on, Boy, we've got work to do!"

I walked head on into a giant pile of thirteen large thanksgiving turkeys.  They scattered.  Rack was surprised that the ducks would scatter when he approached and liked it.  He started bounding through the birds while I came at them from a couple yards away at the end of his large purple leash.  The ducks flapped off across the street and into four adjoining properties. 

The neighbors would thank me in other ways later.  I was beginning to have an effect.

This became our normal routine.  If I walked by the front windows or doors, look for ducks.   If there were ducks, move them on.  Thirteen of the monsters did not belong in the yard at once.  One or two, Fine, but thirteen?  Do you have any idea what a yard smells like after thirteen thanksgiving turkeys were using the yard as a toilet?

I do.

Luckily they began to take the message.  The ones that were there on the night of the duck orgy know now that the lock on the front door means that crazy flappy bird guy would be coming out soon to chase them off.   I have them trained to walk off when the front door lock rattles open.

They are also not hiding under the Jeep any more.  Can't have that.  They aren't paying rent after all. 

One or two is great, I love watching wildlife, but four of them on the front porch making more baby ducks is overkill and thirteen is just insane.

Living on an island, we're surrounded by a slow moving river.  They can live on the water after all.  Waterfowl not Carportfoul or Porchfoul.

If you will excuse me, I have a porch to powerwash, yet again.

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