COMMENT OF THE DAY: A BRIEF GUIDE TO MEYER PARK SHOPPING CENTER WATERFOWL “I would bet a dollar to a donut that these are domesticated Muscovy Ducks. Muscovy Ducks are non-migratory and are frequently bought to stock artificial ponds (they are not native to Texas). They are not very agile and could easily get run over by an inattentive driver. The only other duck that might be in Texas in July is a black bellied whistling duck. Black bellied whistling ducks are far more agile than a muscovy. Unless they get fed constantly (like the ones in Hermann Park), they will keep a good distance from humans. My guess is that the Muscovy ducks are waddling out into the parking lot to forage through all the garbage the Walmart customers leave in the parking lot. There is little anyone can do to stop them as they can get up in the air enough to get over any kind of barrier that could be put up between the lot and the pond. A nice duck crossing sign might be all that can be done.” [Old school, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Meyer Park Shopping Center’s Sitting Ducks]
Non-native, eh? Are they also undocumented? No wonder they hang out at Walmart. Washington has failed us again by not controlling the invasion of alien waterfowl into our sacred state. I suggest that we build a very tall fence around the Walmart and also implement a periodic roundup. Send them back to where they came from. Where is that, by the way?
Or haul ’em over to Hermann Park…
Mostly accurate, however the mottled duck is also a non-migratory duck that is native to Texas. Similar in appearance to a hen mallard. They are not generally park ducks either…so I concur with your conclusion that they are most likely Muscovy ducks.
Bubba, that is a great point. Since these guys aren’t “migratory”, they are taking the jobs of hardworking Texas ducks! This ain’t no sanctuary city!
Wild muscovy ducks are native to Mexico as far north as the Rio Bravo del Norte, aka Rio Grande. They are classified as invasive outside of Hidalgo, Starr, and Zapata counties, but it’s not strictly true that they are “not native to Texas.”
Ok, I should have said “near downtown Houston in July.” Didn’t mean to create an exclusive list of summertime resident ducks.
Blue winged teal and mottled ducks are also year round residents. But I have never seen either close in to town in the summer. I have seen a stray pair of black bellied whistling ducks around Memorial Park and cruising through the Heights in addition to the ones at Hermann Park.