Duck and Chicken Raise Family Together

Here’s a report from a Swedish news site about a duck and a chicken that are raising a family together. I don’t read Swedish, but fortunately a Boing Boing reader provided a translation:

A duck and a hen on a farm outside Söderköping have found each other. The duck is now a foster-father to five chickens.

Annika Stenbäck and Peter Andersson, who live at the farm, tell the daily Norrköpings Tidningar about the love birds.

The birds started dating already last summer, after the duck accidentally drowned his mate during lovemaking. However, the duck didn’t spend much time in mourning before starting to date the hen instead.

Soon, the hen started laying and brooding, but as the eggs were not fertilized, they never hatched.

“So we fetched some fertilized eggs from our old hens at my parents-in-law. She got six chickens, but one has died,” says Annika Stenbäck.

During the entire brooding period the duck kept a nervous watch by the hen’s side.

“And since the chickens were hatched he hasn’t left her side,” says Annika Stenbäck to Norrköpings Tidningar.

It was actually this story that finally pushed me over the edge and prompted me to start this weblog after years of threatening to do so.

Why Do Animals Collect Things?

My cat Nemo has a favorite rag. It’s like a security blanket. He keeps the thing outside, but he carries it around with him. He plays with it. He sleeps with it. He keeps it in safe spots.

Oliver, a neighbor cat, is a glove thief. If I leave my garden gloves outside, chances are I’ll be missing one (or both) before long. I’ve seen him carrying them across the yard. Where does he take them? Why does he take them? Does he think he’s playing a joke on us?

Here’s a photo I stole from MSNBC:

[photo of a cat walking through fence - his collection of stolen gloves is nearby]
photo by Julie Jacobsern for AP

The original caption read:

Willy the cat poses with several garden gloves that he had taken from unknown yards in Pelahm, N.Y., on Thursday July 20. Willy, who is one year old, has brought home nine pairs of gloves and five singles over several weeks, dropping them on his owners’ front or back porch.

Why do animals collect things?

Seal Rescues Drowning Dog

From the London Telegraph:

Chris Hinds, a court warrants officer, was out walking his own dogs when he saw the alsatian-cross injured and whimpering at the water’s edge. As he approached, it panicked and plunged into the River Tees only to be swept away by the fast-flowing tide on Tuesday evening. Mr Hinds, 43, sent his son Raymond, 18, to call the fire brigade and RSPCA from his mobile phone in his car parked nearby.

He stayed on the bank beneath Newport Bridge, Middlesbrough, to follow the path of the dog. As the dog yelped 30ft out and he shouted, a seal popped up and began to circle the stricken animal. Then to Mr Hind’s amazement it swam up behind the dog and used its nose to push it by the backside on to mudflats.

Bark for more here.