Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Whistlers on Wednesday 61

Although we haven't seen any snowflakes here this winter, we did get plenty of hard freezes. After several days in December below freezing, the pond was getting some ice on it.


Feeding these cute little guys in such large numbers made for some messes when the weather got sloppy.




Looks like a sod football field!
Since they were eating so much scratch feed (especially during the freezes), I tried switching to a slightly cheaper pelleted feed. Well, on wet days, that quickly disintegrated into mush on the ground. Plus, Louise discovered she had quite a taste for it, too.

So I thought maybe I could get the Whistlers to eat from a ground platter, like civilized ducks. I mixed up some scratch feed and pellets and put it in the same type of platter they've been landing on and eating from for months atop the Folger's coffee can on the bird bath pedestal.
 They thought it was going to eat them.
 
 

 It took a few brave ducks to dip their bills before the others figured out it would be okay to eat.


 
 
Bubba squirrel decided platter eating would suit him just fine, too.




 
The ducks reclaimed the food after he was done.  


 
 The pellet food was soon becoming like slopping the hogs.
 I quickly went back to feeding only scratch feed, again (a mix of cracked corn and other seeds).

"Told you so!"

131 comments:

magnoliasntea said...

We have tried the pelletized feed, and each time it's been a disappointment. Ducks KNOW best it seems. ;) Have a great day.

georgettesullins said...

This is hilarious. What a scene! And if that pond were ever to freeze over, ducks skating on the pond would be quite a scene, too.

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

It's like they're all looking at the ice saying "what's that???". If they were here today they'd be totally iced in right now! Also nice that they're sharing with Bubba:@)

messymimi said...

Yep, i gotta say it again, animals in the yard is more entertaining than anything on TV!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Love the youngster all alone in the one photo...Louise has a beautiful brindle coat!! And the squirrel...adorable.

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

They are so cute, and Bubba is such a little hog!

Nancy said...

Our farm cats like to eat black sunflower seed. :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

What a hilarious scene! Love then the squirrel showed up lol

Pom Pom said...

Bubba looks like he is getting quite enough food! Chubby old piggy!

Molly The Wally said...

OMD Bubba is one fat squirrel. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Best wishes Molly

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

I can't believe how distrustful they were of that ground platter!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

LOL! I love the sequence of their checking out the platter!! LOL! You are so good to them. =) Thank you so much for your HUGE good wishes!! xoxo ~ t.

Buttons said...

Morning Tex Oh Louise, Bubba and Whistlers in the morning nothing could be better:) Hug B

Janey and Co. said...

Great photos. Bubba looks well fed!

Country Gal said...

Looks like everyone is getting in on food lol Nice photos .

Kate said...

The birds have a patient and very generous human friend!

Dicky Bird said...

They have pellets for chicken layer mix too, but my chickens didn't like it. Too much waste. I hope they stick around and make nests at your pond. I saw a Birds in Bloom magazine - there was a picture of some Whistlers - it was from a lady in TX too.

diane b said...

A great nature story in pictures.

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

you sure do keep Bubba happy. wow, he is a full squirrel. i love the ice or snow crystal or is that frost on their backs ... so neat. great effects. we have rain, maybe a bit of ice here in VA this AM. ( :

Primitive Stars said...

Love those Whistlers!!!! Bubba had to get his chubby butt in there, what a piggy, Blessings Francine.

Tanya Breese said...

ha, that was a cute post :)

cobie en bas van Es said...

wauw vwat mooi wat een interesse z\o druk bezocht en die eekhoorn durft wel met zoveel eenden maar gelukkig was er nog meer voer.

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

Haha - another cute "picture book"!

Lynne said...

The Ranch Kitchen is going to have to start sending the visitors to a Food Bank if the droves of Whistlers get any larger . . . or if Bubba won't stay away!

Fun post . . . Sure can tell the Juvies from the Oldies!

Jeanne said...

Love these shots!... It especially made me laugh when I saw the squirrel. I was wondering why he wasn't the first one there? Those whislers are so cute and very grown up, thanks to you. Very nice post!

Montanagirl said...

I've never tried pelletized feed - just the mixed seed. Especially in winter, when there's a lot of ground feeders. Your duckies are hilarious.

Julia said...


I think that your Whistlers have multiplied a lot. They all look pretty healthy. They have a skating rink and a pool so they can chose what they want to do,
I wonder how many babies these will produce this year. I think that you'll need another feeder station soon.

That squirrel sure isn't starving either.

Hugs,
JB

Pallavi said...

They are all so adorable :) I love the squirrel!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I smiled at the ducks circling the platter and approaching it timidly. Bubba seemed to have no reservations about it, though.

S. J. Qualls said...

Bubba is right up there with the Whistlers as fare as making a mess.

I could almost hear them wondering about that foreign platter. :-)

A Quiet Corner said...

Neat how you got them to the feeder!!!...:)JP

Margie said...

One BIG HAPPY family!

stardust said...

You are such a fortunate person to be entertained by this kind of heart-warming and fun show everyday.

Yoko

Blackberry Lane said...

Love this series of pics. The squirrel is too funny!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Such cute photos! It really did get muddy there. We've had some pretty bad mud here this winter as well, but now everything is just frozen solid!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

It looks like the gang was all there!

DJan said...

I sure do love looking at the Whistlers. They made my day today, Tex. Only two days in Florida before returning to Texas where it looks to be cold for the next week. Then back to Bellingham... thank you for your kind wishes on my blog. And thanks for the Whistling Ducks! :-)

Cranberry Morning said...

Darned squirrel. Who invited him to the buffet? I'm wondering about the whistlers on the branches. They all look so civilized(as you mentioned.) I wonder, do they ever try to shove each other off the log?

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I had to laugh at Louise's duck impression ;-)

Filip Demuinck said...

Great pictures, on the first shots you harly see them between the wood.

Greetings,
Filip

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

They really keep you entertained and busy feeding them!

Beth said...

I loved the photos and the narrative!

Birdman said...

I KNEW a stupid squirrel would work his way into the shot. hahahaha

Karen said...

Oh Louise is so funny! She's like my dog and will anything going! Love that last shot of Bubba, he's smiling!

Paula said...

They weren't taking any chances on that scary platter on the ground. Only takes a few brave ones to get the meal started.

don said...

A fine series of these cute ducks. It surprised me how suspicious they were of the dish. I'm glad the squirrel didn't hog the entire plate of food. :-)

DIMI said...

Reading your posts and seeing your pictures is really a joy for me Tex!!The Whistlers and the squirrel are so lucky with you take care of them, these cold winter days!Great shots!!They make me smile!
Dimi...

Sally said...

My thought when they all gathered around; come one, come all.

Love these. :)

Patty Woodland said...

You are running a wildlife center!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

You've told another great story! So cute how they were intimidated by the platter at first. And so funny how Louise took a liking to the duck food. I think Bubba just wants to be a part of it all.

Wednesday is a good day because I get to see your whistlers. :-)

Gail Dixon said...

I can't get over the numbers! They're thriving at your place, that's for sure. I love how cautious they were approaching the tin platter.

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I was hoping to see some ducks skating on the frozen pond surface. looks like some frost on their backs in a couple of the photos.

parker said...

With all the critters you feed and take care of, it want be long before the Ranch will have to hire a full time hand just to do the feeding! Good Work Tex!

Furry Bottoms said...

I didn't realize that Louise was a bridle!! I love the colors of her fur.

Furry Bottoms said...

By the way, are you feeling okay?

Sylvia K said...

What fun pics for the day! Lots of smiles to start mine, that's for sure!! Thanks for the info about my post!! Always appreciated!!

Sandra said...

i love the gaggle of ducks... and it looks like they are saying, come on guys, this is safe, step right up and number 23 of the squirrel is beyond adorable.....

Ela said...

Great photos !
I see that the food is enough for all. Greetings :)

Irma said...

Great photos of Whistlers, also the squirrel is cute.

Bob Bushell said...

No wonder you have so many birds, you feed them very well, ha ha, you are a winner.

Chris Rohrer said...

Oh that squirrel looks very well fed:)

Karen S. said...

Life is wonderful in your world! I do hope you come back and view my post about NCIS once you've watched it! It's very important. I'm also happy to see you're a fan too!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Tex well I suppose it was trail and error with feeding the ducks. You certainly are great feeding that mob. Great shots of them and the squirrel. Good that my post uploaded for you today, I think the problem probably is a slow connection in your part of the country.

Breathtaking said...

Hadn't realized how many Whistlers there really are at the pond until I saw this series.
I'm glad your pond didn't freeze over. They are funny eyeing the dish:)!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Now I see why those Whistler's love hanging around the Run A Round Ranch diner! :)

Marit Sønstebø said...

Lovely pictures of the whistlers and squirrel! It is nice to see that you also have little winter too. Ice on the pond shows it :-)

Leovi said...

wonderful photos! the squirrel has also signed up for the feast!

Debbie said...

awesome captures t....i think it would be cheaper to put a few kids thru college!!

Deb said...

your visitors are so lucky to have such a nice Bed and Breakfast to stay at all winter...great photos...Bubba is a chunky guy...

Mandy Southgate said...

Aaah, the sun can be quite deceiving when it is that cold, not so? I loved this little photo essay with the 'civilised ducks' and the bold little squirrel. Just lovely.

Jacquelineand.... said...

You are so good to your guests, guess the Whistler's know where the good living (and scratch feed) is to be had!
Bubba doesn't look like he's missing any meals either, lol.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

That is the fattest squirrel I have ever seen! It's funny how the Whistlers give him his space. Squirrel bites are very painful. :) xo

RedPat said...

You are so good to keep them well-fed!

Alicia said...

MU LINDOS LOS PATOS...
LA ARDILLA PRECIOSA.
SALUDITOS

joeh said...

They seem so comical, but I guess a duck can never be too carefull

The Queen Jester said...

You are so blessed to live among all this wildlife....but you knew that. There always has to be a Bubba, doesn't there.
My grandchildren call me Bubbe, the Yiddish term for grandma. Maybe this is why I'm drawn to restaurants called Bubba's - or maybe I just like BBQ ribs.

Lorraine said...

How cute!

barbara l. hale said...

You ARE hoarding those ducks! They are so darn cute! And I have to say that Louise has quite the snazzy coat.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

I'm happy to share my snow and ice with you. I think their curiosity makes for great photos.

Robin Lamb said...

T, great series of shots of these lovey ducks! Glad to see that BuBBa got his share!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

They are so darn cute. So funny when they are looking at that feed and not having any of it. You wonder if it was the smartest one or the dumbest who was the first to try it.

You take such good care of your "livestock."

Fjällripan said...

So sweet! and so many ducks! :))

Judy said...

Plenty of food to go around.

Marissa said...

Nothing makes me happier than being outdoors photographing birds.
LOVE your photos.

eileeninmd said...

I got my electric back on just in time to see your Whistling Ducks. They are adorable. Louise is a cutie too! Great shots!

Brian King said...

LOL! Silly ducks! You'd think they were farm raised. Tree rat definitely looks farm raised. He hasn't missed any meals!

Farm Girl said...

What lovely photos today. I am glad they tried the pan instead of just staring at it.
I love that shot of Bubba. He was happy about the new feed pan.
Sasha loves that pellet food too.

Raggedy Creations said...

I'm surprised Bubba didn't find it before the ducks got brave enough to eat it.

They looked funny standing there checking it out.

Felicia

thirtysevenandcounting said...

Those are some full cheeks on Bubba's face!

~Lindy

Catherine said...

Hope everyone is keeping their paws and feet warm!!!
xo Catherine

KB Bear said...

Are you saying that you don't heat that pond for them? :) Shame on you...

Julie G. said...

This is such a delightful post! I smiled while scrolling through all of the wonderful photographs. You must thoroughly enjoy watching the antics of the whistlers. They really are cute. Always a pleasure to visit your wonderful blog!

dinascitywildlife.com said...

I think a name change is in order. "Whistler Ranch". Those young ones are so cute.

Phyllis Oller said...

I love watching nature,& you captured "everyone"perfectly!Phyllis

Linda said...

Love that picture of the one duck examining the platter! And look at Bubba! LOL!

Betsy Adams said...

HA HA ---they are so amusing... It took a brave one or two to get any of them to eat in that 'new' plate.... FUNNY...BUT--once they learned that it wouldn't hurt them, they really went for it.... Of course, the squirrel got his share also!!!!!

Cute post.
Hugs,
Betsy

Red said...

It sure did get sloppy and mucky. You must have had lots of rain.

Shannon Ham said...

These are such great pictures! Love the play-by-play description, and that you captured their curious nature with the bowl!! Makes me miss my ducks so much :)

Melissa said...

Oh wow! I've seen the family growing, but didn't realize you had so many Whistlers there! Do they stay year-round or just for the winter?

Randy said...

Looks like it was a busy Wednesday.

Paul said...

Shouldn't Bubba be hibernating or something!
Looks like the young Whistlers had no problem adapting to the new ground level feeding setup!

Indrani said...

What a variety of friendly critters you have! Lovely seeing them. :)

Betty Manousos said...

what adorable scenes! looks like it was a busy day ;)

Rita said...

I have to chuckle at Bubba and how he can intimidate a whole passel of Whistlers! ;)

Elaine said...

Cute series! You certainly made Bubba happy.

Magia da Inês said...

♡♡⊱ Olá!
São como preciosas pérolas da natureza.

Boa quinta-feira!
Beijinhos.
° ·.♫° ·.

Magia da Inês said...

♡♡⊱ Olá!
São como preciosas pérolas da natureza.

Boa quinta-feira!
Beijinhos.
° ·.♫° ·.

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Great pictures of whistlers feeding. Louise is undecided whether he likes or not ! The thieving squirrel has driven away the whistlers and having a field day !

Made by KKann said...

Hi - so many beautiful pics of all the ducks and dogs and birds!! Lovely.

I found your blog at Fjällripan - and I love your blog!

Have a Nice Thursday.

KKann

Eva Ason said...

There's a good mix of pictures there :)

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Adorable squirrel and lovely pictures o happy ducks. Cheers

Lynn said...

too sweet you are, and you've made me laugh until I've produced tears...that little squirrel is just adorable, fantastic photos.

MarmePurl said...

Oh Bubba...

Jill c",) said...

Hello:) I am new at your blog and i love your animals picture:))

Jill:))

Wally Jones said...

Looks like feeding that bunch is a full time job!

Looks like they learned from Bubba how to sit in your food and eat it, too!

Hilary said...

They are such a hoot to watch. No wonder you love them so. Bubba cracks me up too.

Pat Tillett said...

I just LOVE these guys! You captured a great look on the face of the whistler in the last photo...

Terry and Linda said...

I'm 118 on your comment site...whew! That's a few. I did enjoy this post! I liked how they were very concerned about the dish, but then decided HECK why not!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
*♥´¨) ¸.-´¸.-♥´¨) Happy Valentine’s Day¸.-♥¨) (¸.-` ♥♥´¨

Lindsjö taxar said...

Great serie of my favourites

Rose said...

I laughed out loud when I came to Bubba in the food dish! He is funny!

DeniseinVA said...

Adorable, and so many of them. I envy you your whistlers.

wayside wanderer said...

Best laid plans and all... Ducks are such funny creatures of habit.

bailey-road.com said...

You take good care of that huge gang of whistlers.

Jeanne said...

OMG... I'm laughing out loud!! That squirrel is saying
MINE MINE MINE

Jen said...

They seemed to have manners until that squirrel climbed into the platter and then they did the same. A bad influence, that one.

Donna said...

Those ducks sure were suspicious of the pan on the ground! And are you sure that Bubba isn't half piggy?

pattisjarrett said...

Once it is determined to be food, it isn't long until feet show up on the food platter! Bubba looks totally prepared for hibernation; I think maybe he's really a small bear. ;)

Margaret said...

…never a dull moment!

Helma said...

Truly a wonderful series of my favorite ducks, but also your four-legged companion, not to mention the beautiful squirrel. I enjoyed :-)

Laura. M said...

Great gathering of friends ... sure is good fun :))

Lynda said...

Their hesitancy is comical but even more so the fact that they did not disturb the squirrel while it was feeding.

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