From her first appearance in February and until the day Quakie decided to nest in our garden this year, she had acted rather distant towards us, not allowing us to approach or to feed her. She would fly off with her partner and not return for hours – and sometimes not till the next day – if we as much as set foot in the backyard. We wondered if she had become so wild that she had forgotten that we were family once.
We didn’t have to worry.
Now that she’s comfortably nesting in our garden (with her new beau), she’s pretty much back to her old ways – waiting expectantly for us in the morning to come out and fill her food tray, chatting to us with soft clucks and whistles, or even making special requests, like she did this morning.
Seeing Quakie and her mate at the pond this morning, I went out to refill their empty food tray. She and her mate started strolling around the garden, pecking around as if they had all the time in the world. I thought perhaps she was not as hungry as usual since she would attack the food immediately otherwise.
While I filled the food and water tray, Quakie watched me from a distance. Just as I went back indoors, Quakie came quickly waddling up to the house and stared at me as if to say, hey, don’t go away yet!
Perhaps it seemed to her that I didn’t fully understand what she wanted, so she came closer and approached the door, carefully staying outside the doorway, as if she were afraid of getting shut in the house!
She made little whistling and clucking noises, then waited for me to follow her to the garden shed where we store the duck chow. She still hadn’t touched the food that I had just left out for her – but I brought out the food canister anyway.
We are used to her strange little habits – I knew she enjoyed eating directly out of the giant (to a duck) canister of dry food, although it makes her choke a little, and run to take a drink from the pond in between every few mouthfuls! She could have more easily eaten from her food tray which I had filled with both food and water. Perhaps the luxury as eating out of a seemingly unending supply of cracked corn gives her a huge kick!
In any case, once she had her few mouthfuls of food (spilling lots on the ground in the process) she jumped contentedly back into the pond to swim around and forage with her partner and was happy to eat from the food tray for the rest of the day.