Oahu Duck Friends

Our life has changed a lot. I can’t hike and swim like I used to. Lately, we mostly just garden and take the ducks on adventures. This has led to the amusing development where all of our local friends are “duck people.” Who knew when Rich begged me to get a duckling that it would lead to this?

However, I just want to say that our duck friends are amazing!

First, there is Susie of Susie’s duck rescue. Many people get ducks not understanding how much work they are. When they realize they don’t want them anymore, they dump them in a pond or stream thinking they’ll be fine. However, domestic ducks can’t survive on their own. Susie rescues them and finds them homes. She’s a hero.

Next, there’s Kevin who adopted our foster ducks Linda, Steve, and Brooke. He’s a tattoo artist and avid gardener, so you know he’s good people. You can get an authentic Hawaiian tattoo from him at Tribal Arms Tattoo.

We also met a new duck friend named Jay, who needed advice after adopting a dumped duck named Sizzle. He owns Hawaii Gyrocopter Flights, and he flies for a living. If you ever want to take a really amazing tour of Oahu from the sky, he’s the person to talk to.

And finally, the owners of Monarch Tattoo in Hauula, Laura and Mike. They don’t have Muscovy ducks like us. They have runner ducks. However, that doesn’t stop them from being amazing people.

Life takes you places you never would have expected. If you’d told me ten years ago that I’d live on Oahu and all my friends there would own ducks, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you. And of course, it’s pretty funny that they have a semi-famous Instagram: Catarina and Chaos.

Anyway, check out my amazing duck friends!

Catarina and Chaos

Catarina before she could walk

In October of 2019, Rich rescued a malnourished Muscovy duckling from a feed store here on Oahu. The duckling could not stand or walk, which is common when they don’t get enough nutrients as they grow. We didn’t know if they were a boy or a girl; only that we had to save them.

It took her weeks to learn to walk and run

By December, we had determined that the duckling was a girl, and we had named her Catarina. She turned things around for herself by eating all the food we gave her and working very hard to learn to walk.

Catarina once her feathers came in

We decided not to clip her wings when her feathers came in. She still trips over her feet, so I don’t see her evading any predators on foot.

However, we learned that ducks get very lonely on their own. They need the company of other ducks in order to be happy. That is why, on December 9th, we brought home a week-old duckling to join Catarina.

Chaos Duck sitting in his food

Of course, the second duckling wasn’t malnourished at all. It was healthy! We’d never cared for a healthy duck before, and we soon found out that it wasn’t easy. There was a lot of jumping, loud peeping, and general chaos.

Chaos Duck started out so tiny!

So, we named the second duckling Chaos Duck.

Can you tell that we got Chaos Duck in December?

It turned out that Chaos Duck was a boy. So, we have found ourselves with a pair of Muscovy ducks.

They got a photo with Santa

People often ask about the quacking, but Muscovy ducks don’t quack. They’re very quiet, and mostly only make quiet hissing noises.

We built a sand man instead of a snow man

This is because Muscovy ducks are descended from Geese, rather than from Mallards (like most ducks.)

Chaos Duck grew so fast!

Muscovy ducks are not Native to the Hawaiian islands. They came here with the Spanish and the Portuguese several hundred years ago, and those that escaped were able to flourish because Hawaii is a fairly pleasant environment most of the time.

Rich and Chaos Duck

It’s actually not very different here from the Muscovy duck’s Native land, which is South America. Yes, South America.

At the North Shore

You’d think they’d be from Russia because of the name. However, they just got that from being sold to Europeans first by Russian traders. They’re Native land is the mangroves of South America, where they live in brackish water and dive for fish.

At the black sand beach where the mangroves grow

Catarina and Chaos Duck love to swim. However, they do have the trait that most Muscovy ducks have under-performing oil glands. This means that they don’t love to swim for more than 30 to 45 minutes. After a while they start to get waterlogged, because they’re just not very water-proof.

We took them kayaking

They are loving ducks who beg at our feet just like dogs when we eat dinner, and who love to snuggle and play with toys. We even taught Catarina to play ball, although Chaos Duck never quite caught on.

At Likeke Falls

Right now, we live in a house with a very small back yard. Since they don’t have a big yard to play in, we try to take them on as many adventures as we can.

In an orchid tree by the house

We’ve taken them hiking, kayaking, and swimming. They love adventure, and are generally excited to get in the car. I am not sure I would recommend ducks as pets. They are a lot more work than a dog, because they poop a lot more than a dog. But, we love them.

One of the swings on the North Shore