Holy Imprinting!

Discovery News is reporting some awesome interspecies duckling/pup action:

According to Sara Hallager, a bird biologist at the National Zoo; “All baby birds, when they’re born, the first thing they see, which is usually the same species, is what they imprint on.”

So how did this duckling duo end up thinking a dog was their parent? It turns out it wasn’t part of the original plan when Frances Marsh, 25, and her family bought two two-day-old ducklings at a local garden center near their home in Atlantic Beach, N.C.

Yogi, the family’s 5-year-old corgi, was in the car that day and was instantly fascinated by the family’s purchase.

“They were in a little box. He just leaned his head over and licked them,” Marsh said.

Ever since, the ducklings, Biggie and ‘Pac, have chosen to follow Yogi, as if he were their mother.


Alertly spotted by Sender Inner Nicholas H. Story and hovertexts by Amy Enchelmeyer for Discovery News. Photos by Frances Marsh. More on this story over on Discovery News.

Comments

  1. I Love inter-species snorgling and nurturing!!

  2. Cambridge Rat Mom says:

    Why is that nursery selling ducklings? And why are people buying them?

  3. Biggie and ‘Pac are awesome names!

  4. RosiePosie says:

    Some rural-ish garden centers can sell small livestock such as ducks and/or chickens as pest control for people with large yards. The ducks will eat bugs in the grass, I presume. Why they were selling TWO-DAY old ducks would be my question. I can’t imagine being without their mom so early was a good idea. Maybe it was more an adoption and less a sale?

  5. Some people like to have them for the eggs. Duck eggs are super rich and nutritious!

  6. 260Oakley says:

    Yogi tries to duck out of his responsibilities. Fails.

  7. leaves of cat grass says:

    I wonder if the corgi will teach his ducklings to ‘corgi flop’…

  8. So sweet. I love the quote in the story that says “He thinks they’re his babies.” Soooo sweet.

  9. Fird Birfle says:

    Corgis are reliably quirky. Lovely results from an odd series of events.

  10. If I recall correctly baby ducks can safely be separated from mom at a day old. They don’t exactly nurse ;)

    You can order duck and chicken eggs online and hatch them yourself in an incubator, raising them that way from day one. My friend got her egg-laying ducks when they were a day old, I believe, and raised them in a heated box first, and then later on in a shed with a wading pool in it, if I remember rightly.

    Poultry aren’t self-sufficient from day one like a reptile might be, but they are ready to be hand-raised from day one.

  11. Yogi is finding out that the rule for ducklings is the same as the rule for a box of chocolates: You lick it, it’s yours.

  12. Love his collar: like a bowtie on his tuxedo shirtfront!

  13. how darn sweet

  14. eternalcanadian says:

    I agree with that viewpoint. This is unacceptable to have two-day old babies for sale. I would wonder why those people wanted ducks in the first place and why they didn’t question taking two-day old babies from their brood? Shameful, really. :(

  15. kibblenibble says:

    Corgi ‘tocks! :-)

  16. sarahhf says:

    I’m not surprised. My corgi licks everything… nothing has imprinted on him yet, though. :)

  17. If the Corgi’s name is Yogi the two ducklings should be called Pickenic and Basket :lol:

  18. Phew.

  19. Bashful says:

    Their legs are about the same length….

  20. bob drummond says:

    These little guys are really quackers over their adopted corgie(?) step mother.
    I hope the dog treats them right !

  21. So… introduce a clutch of ducklings to a coyote, and he’ll have some very handy snacks following him around for a while. :)

  22. dogsleder says:

    Ducklings and chicks are often sold within just days of hatching. You can buy chicks through mail order, delivered by overnight express. Here’s an example:

    http://www.chickensforbackyards.com/?gclid=CPO1mePIsKkCFQkSbAodWjinKA

    Many young animals are precocious, meaning they can survive on their own without schooling from adults.

  23. I said there sould be a rule of cute on interspecies imprinting.

  24. Haha! I’m really glad you pointed it out because I went back to check and then fell in love all over again :D

  25. scarletgunn says:

    even though I’m kinda Hmph about a garden center selling 2 day old ducklings ( and people buying them) and choosing to cover my ears and go Lalalalala about MAIL ORDERING ANIMALS, I’m thrilled that these two duckies now have a doggie bodyguard.

  26. stellans says:

    that little bone name tag does look just like a bow-tie! Good catch…

  27. I’m completely smitten with corgis and determined to have one someday – this is just icing on the corgi cake. Not only is Yogi super adorabuhls but he’s got great maternal instincts as well. Who could ask for more? I loff heem!

  28. Goodness, people, stop complaining about the two day old ducklings. We have been repeatedly told that it’s fine. Ducklings aren’t mammals. Not all animals are raised the same.

    Also, those whining about mail order animals – I remember my first grade class got a bunch of chicken eggs in the mail and had a beautiful time hatching them in an incubator. You want to deny them that experience, which teaches them about the miracle of birth and life? Seriously, relax.

    As a final note…this story is utterly precious.

  29. cor-duckens!

  30. Since corgis are herding dogs, I’ll bet Yogi is soooooooo happy to be able to raise his very own “herd”.

  31. That corgi looked much taller in the water……

  32. “Lalalalalala”—-LOL!

  33. Chickens and ducklings are ALWAYS sold this way. On the farm, we always picked up our *one day old* chicks, and none ever seemed to fail to thrive ie) they gobbled up any piece of food in sight and grew like weeds.

  34. Alice Shortcake says:

    Does anyone else have visions of a corgi bobbing for pondweed with its tail wagging in the air?

  35. scarletgunn says:

    sorry that my whining and complaining bothers you so much. whether its fine or not, i still have the option to not like it.

  36. I think the best I’ve ever heard this expressed was “poultry aren’t puppies, no matter how cute.” :)

  37. I don’t blame the ducklings. I’d follow Yogi, too.

  38. But times aren’t so innocent anymore. Now-a-days, the youngins learn about the miracle of life and birth by watching a spicy porno, followed by the teacher’s recording of her own cesarion.

  39. Chris B. says:

    But what happened to the chicks after they were hatched? People do that alot with baby bunnies and then when they grow up, they dump them. I have gotten several rabbits from a shelter this way. They are cute when they are little but everything grows up.

  40. Maribeth says:

    I wonder if the ducklings imprinted on the patented “Corgi waddle” which is so much like the duck’s!

  41. Fleurdamour says:

    I love that they’re named after rappers. That’s TuQuack!

  42. hey, I would follow that cute little corgie too!

  43. Androgynoid says:

    Sort of reminds me of Konrad Lorenz, the psychologist. http://img.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/0807/88715f31d39f729097fa.jpeg Yes, those are geese following him. Perhaps they learned to smoke a pipe, too.

    Konrad Lorenz

  44. I think some people are thinking of animals like kittens & puppies, who nurse, & need their mothers. I was surprised to discover chicks & ducks sold this young, but it does make sense.

  45. Wend is correct. This is normally how fowl are purchased…. as very young ducklings or chicks. They are not as helpless as mammals at that age, but they need to be nurtured a little (warmth, etc).