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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Keep An Eye On The Duck

By Laura Doering
Join in on Laura's fun and experiences of bird ownership, and share in her adventures as the editor of BIRD TALK, the world’s most widely read pet bird magazine, in Wayward Feathers.

While looking through our “Ask the Experts” e-mails, I came across a question that really had me stumped. The gist of it was would an adopted one-eye duck pose a risk to the family cockatiel? If I were in that situation, I would probably seek some advice as well. I’m not sure who to ask either, except perhaps a veterinarian about possible bacteria transfers between a duck and ’tiel. But the message seemed to suggest more of a concern about the duck going after the cockatiel (apparently the retailer that they adopted the duck gave forewarning). 

So that got me thinking about ducks. Years ago, my sister, young niece and I started feeding bread crumbs to a group of ducks at a pond. Pretty soon, more ducks waddled on over. Then they started swimming over from the far end of the pond, and when we looked up, there were ducks in the air, landing in the water in front of us. Within a span of 15 minutes, we were surrounded by ducks. My niece, who was about 2 years old at the time, started to feel a little uneasy and so did I when I realized our bread crumb supply was running low.

 We started to walk up the grassy hill back to the car and about 10 or so ducks waddled close behind us. We put some pep in our step and shook all of the ducks except one. He made it to the car with us. I’ve never been mugged but I swear this duck was trying to hold us up for more bread crumbs. I threw the last few pieces of on the grass to throw him off our trail so could get in the car. After frantically buckling her daughter in the car seat, my sister was doing the “Go, go, go!”

 So, going off of my personal experience, I can see how ducks can intimidate. My advice would be to make sure the cockatiel was secure in its cage or high up on its play gym before offering it anything like birdie bread. Otherwise, I could just picture the duck waddling him into the corner and quacking “Hand it over!”  while staring him down with his one eye.

What’s your take on duck vs. cockatiel?

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