Monday, June 4, 2018
Bosley is the handsome but mysterious hybrid duck we've been following for several years on our walks around Como Lake. He's almost always there, in a little flock of three, along with his girl friend Belinda and a mallard drake we call Drake. Though it's difficult to tell without a lot of ornithological knowledge, Bosley is most likely a hybrid of mallard and magpie duck, which is a goose-sized domestic duck with black-and-white or brown-and-white patches. Magpie ducks are raised for their meat, which may explain why Bosley's ancestors saw fit to escape.
Belinda is a bit of a mystery. She appeared last spring, still a juvenile and more mottled than patchy. She has grown into a fatly gorgeous thing with who-knows-what bloodlines, though with her size and meatiness (sorry, Belinda), it's likely she also carries domestic duck genes. It's a fine romance.
So our little flock of three is swimming peacefully around, when suddenly - ! Well, you'll just have to watch the video. Now that I see it more rationally, I realize that the other party may have done the attacking. It's easy to misinterpret what you see in nature, and even easier to interfere for your own misguided purposes.
The conservationists would have us put the orphaned baby moose back in the woods to fend for itself, though it probably won't last 24 hours. What is the alternative? A big, dumb, tame moose, which is one more small step towards extinction for a species which has become habituated. I won't get into the anguish of what is happening to wild habitat - it's the kind of thing I can't afford to let myself think about too much. Sad how small my thought world is becoming. All those condos, where there used to be green space.