09.01.2012 Dog kills one

Free running pets and brainless owners

The new year started with bad news for the paradise duck family. Another duckling has been killed

just a day or two earlier. So their number is down to eleven.

Two ladies had seen the body of the killed duckling further down the bank of the Avon river, not even

100 metres from their "home". They thought it was highly likely that a dog had attacked and killed it.

Another free running dog, another brainless owner, another sad loss for the duck family and their fans.

The females now have wide white rims around their beaks, and are getting more and more white feathers on their heads.

The males' heads have turned completely black. They are now hard to distinguish from their father who is only slightly bigger.

Smallie has caught up a lot with the others. There are still some white feathers left in his face.

If you are not sure who is Dad, just wait until an "enemy" arrives, and check who stays on watch while the family are swimming.

Mum is even more aggressive than Dad when unwanted duck visitors come too close to their ducklings.

The young are still quite nice to each other. There is not more than poking the beak into a sibling's feathers. No aggression at all.

This grey duck/mallard cross and her two chicks keep on intruding the paradise ducks' territory in order to steal some food provided by humans. Here one chick is running away with some bread.

In general paradise shelducks are more timid than mallards or grey ducks towards humans. But this group are used to humans and therefore do not run away.

The entire family - Mum, Dad and their eleven remaining ducklings feeding on their home turf.

When they are resting, the distances between the ducklings are quite large. Every single one

seems to need its individual space now while as babies they were cuddling to stay warm and safe.