17.11.2011 No fear of bears

Kimi the Travel Bear on a mission

Kimi could sit in the grass and the ducklings would not bother, and the parents were not alarmed at all.

But when dogs or small children came anywhere near them the duck parents went ballistic,

the male shrieks "zonk zonk". The female has a higher voice and calls "zeek zeek".

Often they call in duet. Zonk zonk - zeek zeek - zonk zonk.

(I have used this transcript of the calls from the fabulous Penguin book

"The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand".)

For those who do not know... I have a travel bear named Kimi who is very curious and has his own website. Of course, he is very interested in all kinds of animals and their stories. So the next day I took Kimi to the Avon. There were still 17 ducklings.

It was astonishing that the duck parents accepted Kimi having a look at their ducklings and sitting on the lawn. I nearly could not believe it because the parents are very cautious with everyone and everything coming near them.

They already warn of dogs before I can see them, and then all the ducklings and the mother run into the river and take a swim until the air is clear again. I think they did not mind Kimi being there because they trusted me. - The area at this tree was their favourite access point to the river. They shifted north once but went back to their territory.

It was also interesting to see several times that the duck parents did not like small children come near them, probably because many children chase birds of all kinds without being told off by their parents.

Paradise ducks are very territorial. They do not tolerate any other ducks around them, particularly not when they have ducklings. Either the father or mother duck bends the head to the ground and races like a maniac towards the enemy duck to keep them out of what they consider to be their home turf. They also fly after them and chase them. Only one parent deals with the intruder, the other one guards the ducklings.