If you live in Plantation Landing or enjoy walking through our beautiful neighborhood, you’ve most likely seen the dynamic duo of Muscovy ducks by the Ramsbury pond. Muscovy ducks are originally from South America and are more like geese than ducks. They are much larger than a mallard, with huge feet and red faces. The males cackle and the females chirp. In other words, you won’t hear any quacking coming from these guys.
Huey arrived to be a companion for Howard, who we lost sadly one year ago on Mother’s Day. Howard was a female duck named by a very young Robby Ley. When she started laying eggs, she became “Howard the Girl Duck.” She migrated and returned for four years, and everyone was always excited to see her appear in the spring. Ryan Ley even built her a duck house to help her withstand bad weather.
After Howard’s death, Huey was incredibly lonely and slept with his bill under his wing, tucked under trees for days on end. The Leys soon found out about a female that needed a good home from a neighbor. Ryan, determined to prevent another tragedy of a broody female being trapped inside the house with a predator, came up with an idea. He built a floating dock and secured the duck house on top of it. After attaching nine 5-gallon water bottles to the bottom, the floating duck house was ready! Shortly thereafter, Penelope arrived, and Huey was immediately smitten again.
Both ducks are relatively juvenile and haven’t figured out the art of turning eggs into ducklings. Ryan and Robby decided to take six eggs and put them into an incubator to see if any ducklings may hatch. Over a month later, on Easter Sunday, with daily candling and observation, one of the eggs began to crack! Within two days, four ducklings were born.
The kids of Plantation Landing were able to see and hold the adorable ducklings for two weeks. Robby named his favorite (the baby with the dark head) Speedy. They were so much fun to have. The Leys were able to find the ducklings a forever farm through some of their friends, just a short drive away.
Next time you venture out for a walk, make sure to stop by and see Huey and Penelope. You can find them foraging for insects around the pond, waiting impatiently for their meals next to the Ley’s back porch, or snuggled up together in their duck house.