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Thread: Mallards in Anchorage

  1. #1
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default Mallards in Anchorage

    Monday evening at 1705 hours I was sitting at the corner of Boniface and Northern Lights. I was over flown by a flock of about 20 mallards. Then a second flock of about the same number of birds came over. Then a third flock of about 10 birds came over. Then the light turned green and I had to make my left turn, but another flight was overhead of an undetermined number of birds. They all came out of the northeast. Every piece of water in that direction except for small sections of Westchester creek is solid.

    While sitting there I could see them working around and then eveloping down about a block west of Boniface and two blocks south of NL. Each wave of birds went down in the same spot.

    Google Maps tells me that the X is near College Gate Elemenary School or E 30th AVE and Lily St. Someone is laying out bait in their driveway. Corn fed birds if you can find where they spend their days.

    We usually see these large flocks at this location in the spring, but something has them on the feed early.

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    The creek east of the school is open all winter long from what I have seen over the years. The creek comes out of a culvert there. I usually stop with my grand-daughter during the winter to see how many mallards are there. I scared off a gentlemen one day when I pulled up. He picked up his landing net and walked off when I stopped.

    Someone up by Boniface and 41st feeds them as well as pigeons. You can see them landing in their yard.

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    Member akshootnscoot's Avatar
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    Default

    I saw some of the birds flying around today, getting ready to drop into the creek described above.

    Last winter I saw a bunch mallards on the roof of an apartment or condo complex near Tudor and Boniface. I've heard of ducks doing that down in Washington, but it was the first time I'd seen it. Pretty cool sight.

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    Default Rose Street

    Yeah if you're driving south on Boniface take the right at Lady's automotive and drive past the stop sign on the left you will see all the birds. If your going east on Northern Lights take a right on Rose street and then a right at the next stop sign and you'll see the creek as well. I use to live right there and there would easily be 500 birds in there in the middle of the winter. It would be very frustrating to go hunting all day and come home and see more birds in 20 minutes from the front yard. It was cool watching all the birds file in in the evening.

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    Default Feeding Ducks

    Not sure if this is the same place - I don't think it is - but I saw a place right on Campbell Creek just downstream from the fork at Piper Street where ducks were being fed out of a trough. I was a little confused, because I was under the impression that this was illegal. I'm not trying to blow any whistles or anything, I just don't know how it is legal for someone to feed wild animals. I also can't believe it's just that they haven't been caught, since you can easily see the whole operation from the popular Campbell Creek trail. Anyone throw me a bone, here?

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Greg, not the same place. It is about a mile away from Campell to the northeast next to Northern Lights on the Chester Creek "Ditch".

    It is illegal but nobody will enforce it until someone gets killed. They enforce bear feeding and if you have a bird feeder on your deck in the spring or summer and a bear tears up your house and feeder you get a ticket.

    The next time some wonder bread tossing kid is taken down and eaten by mallards (they will eat anything) then they will start enforcing the laws.Or some one comes down with bird flu instead of bacon flu and points to the ducks. Or the ducks start sharing one of their STDs (mallards will diddle anything) and die off all over some park.

    So basically someone or something has to die before they do anything.

  8. #8

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    Once the ducks get established and there are a hundred stranded here for the winter it makes perfect sense to feed them. Corn is good for their health.

    It makes no sense to stop feeding them in the middle of winter when the temps are subzero. Why starve (and then freeze) them to death? With the days so short and food in such short supply it might be too stressful to force them to migrate south in the middle of winter.

    Plus, feeding ducks is not much different than feeding chickadees and Steller's jays in a bird feeder. Mallards are just a bigger version of a chickadee.

    If feeding ducks is illegal then I would suppose that the bird feeder in front of your window is as well.

  9. #9

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    The creek next to my house doenst freeze, and its covered in mallards most evenings. 15th and Sitka. My neighbor feeds them as well, and in the spring the begin aseige on our yard to get all of the fallen birdseed. I never knew that a greenhead mallard would be so aggressive over food...

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    In 2003 my former boss bought a house in South Anchorage off of 100th. One morning in the fall he woke up to some strange noises and looked out to a driveway full of mallards. He walked out to scare them off and they ran up to him and they refused to leave. He went back inside and watched as more birds showed up through the morning.

    Later that day the neighbor stopped by and informed him that the prior owner had been feeding the ducks for over 20 years. They filled the driveways with crap all winter and spring. The neighbor had complained to F&G for years and nothing was done. The neighbor asked if he was planning on feeding the birds. My boss said no.

    The birds came back daily through most of the winter. By spring only a few birds showed up. The next fall only a few birds showed up, but by spring none were coming to the driveway.

    Technically bird feeders are illegal.

    Ducks are supposed to migrate, but they don't if there are sources for food and fresh water and a safe place to roost. Once they learn they don't have to migrate they will raise their offspring to not migrate and soon you won't have just a few birds, you will have hundreds of non migrating ducks. Ducks that are not following the evolutionary plan that has improved their survival over the course of time. Anything that decreases your survival is a bad idea.

    It has been shown in many places that concentrations of ducks make the spreading of desease easier causing die offs. Concentrating an isolated population of ducks into a few feeding, watering and roosting spots is not healthy for the ducks. Joe Public does not know or understand this issue so he continues to dump feed out for them.

    I find it humorous that a couple of weeks ago the ADN ran a piece on the pigeon feeder in Midtown. Troopers have ticketed her a couple of times. There are several known, and probably complained about duck feeders, but Troopers are not writing them tickets. Why not?

  11. #11

    Default Dead ducks

    Our offices are near the intersection of Lake Otis and Tudor. There has been a flock of Mallards in the small ditch next to our building. Last Saturday one of my co-workers was at work and came out of our office just as a car drove up. A guy gets out with a falcon on his arm, sends the falcon off and the falcon heads over to the ditch nails a mallard and the guy goes and picks it up and him and the falcon head home. Almost like going to the market to pick up your dinner.....

    I spoke with ADF&G about this and apparently it's legal as long as the falcon is registered and the guy has his licence and stamps...
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

  12. #12
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    Default Falconry

    Falconry is the only way to take birds in Anchorage proper. The limit is less than with a gun, but you can actually hunt in your back yard and most city parks. You can't hunt in ship creek.

    Getting a permit takes a while and you have to apprentice to a permitted person. Raising a bird is a big commitment and I decided long ago that with my schedule it would not be fair to the bird. With the dog I can at least send her to a kennel and she can have a good time while I am away. What do you do with a hawk? It would be cool though.

    I have used that lot for some dog training in the spring. Too much bird scent and drives the puppy wild. The last time there in May some geese were starting to make a nest and I never went back.

    I wonder if that was the guy that takes care of the mascot eagles out on EAFB? I know he has birds big enough to take down a duck.

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Default come on now.

    The reason the ducks don't leave has nothing to do with people feeding them .It's GLOBAL WARMING! Thought you all could use a laugh. I know, some of you belive in it. As for legal or not to feed. Ever hear of someone gitting a fine for
    feeding ducks at the park.

  14. #14
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    Ever hear of someone gitting a fine for
    feeding ducks at the park.
    As they are standing beside the sign that says don't feed the ducks!

    Global warming is real. It happens every couple of million years according to the fossil record. But then the earth is only a few thousand years old, so...now I don't know what to think. Must be time for another beer.

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    As they are standing beside the sign that says don't feed the ducks!

    Global warming is real. It happens every couple of million years according to the fossil record. But then the earth is only a few thousand years old, so...now I don't know what to think. Must be time for another beer.
    Didn't know there was a sign. I don't get my ducks at a park. But I did hear that bread dipped in vodka will knock the geese over. As your walking off with it and anyone asks, just tell them that you think it's sick and your taking it to bird TLC.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    Didn't know there was a sign.
    At Upper Weschester Lagoon next to Valley of the Moon Park where the disc golf crowd parks is a very nice waterfowl information sign put up by (I think) the boy scouts and F&G years ago. It explains the issues with feeding waterfowl.

    At the base of the sign are left over bread crumbs, cheetos, cracked wheat, etc.

    Can we get a "face palm" smily face? or at least a FAIL one?

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