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Young'uns at Jamaica Pond

Duck and ducklings at Jamaica Pond

The other day, a mother duck and her ducklings were at the northernmost end of Jamaica Pond, slowly paddling through the muck there, stopping from time to time for a bite to eat.

Then the mother saw one of the pond's more unusual couples - the all black, possibly escaped domestic, duck and her beau, a regular mallard, up the slope from the pond. She headed out of the water and up the embankment, seeming to want to chat with the mallard. Her brood followed, of course.

But then, Mr. Mallard seemed to grow tired of the visit and flew off, landing in the pond about 20 yards offshore. The mama duck and her family waddled back into the water and resumed their stately cruise of the shore line. But the black duck, seeming to miss all the company, began quacking her heart out.

Meanwhile, along the Pinebank side of the pond, a small bird, a bit smaller than a sparrow, even, sat on a small branch overhanging the water, letting out a chirp every once in awhile:

Small, fuzzy bird

The folks at the Boston Nature Group say it's likely an Oriole fledgling.

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