KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
January 13, 2024
By Natalie Cook Clark
You can barely walk around a Katy neighborhood lake or walk around the water near LaCenterra without seeing Muscovy ducks. These ducks are considered invasive to Texas but many have made comfortable homes here and one duck in particular picked the right home to nest by and hatch her family.
All pictures credits to Caroline Walker-Trulock
Katy-Area Family Loves the Duck by Their Home
For a while now Caroline Walker-Trulock, a Katy-area resident in the Lakemont subdivision has watched a flock of Muscovy ducks on the lake behind her house. Her family even started to get to know their personalities and name some of them like the pretty white female Beatrix and her beau Beauregard. The Trulocks love their presence and even leave out food for them.
“We do have quite a few Muscovy ducks in our neighborhood because we have several lakes throughout the subdivision,” says Caroline. “I realize not many people like them because they are invasive, but Beatrix has caused us no problems or harm.”
First Clutch Failed Due to Summer Heat
Beatrix first arrived last summer and laid a clutch of eggs in the pot near the Trulock’s front door. Due to the extremely hot summer none of her eggs hatched.
“She’s become a bit of a celebrity in the neighborhood and everyone wants to know what she’s up to.”
That is when Caroline started sharing stories about Beatrix and her friends on Facebook.
“I named Beatrix after the author Beatrix Potter,” says Caroline. “Beatrix likes her pot so much, Beatrix Potter came to mind so that’s how I named her.”
To their knowledge, Beatrix was the only duck that wondered to the front of their home to walk around the pots on the front patio. They caught her adventures many times on their ring doorbell camera. So, when some eggs started to appear in an empty pot again Beatrix was the initial suspect.
Eggs started appearing in November and soon camera and sightings confirmed that Beatrix was the mom of 15 eggs and chick daddy Beauregard even accompanied her for some of the egg layings.
The Hatching Countdown Began for Celebrity Duck
Caroline started the hatching countdown when she laid her final egg on December 5, 2024. She continually updated social media on Beatrix and Beauregard and their growing family, though Beauregard hasn’t been to visit the family in a while. Beatrix and the arrival of her babies quickly became a popular topic on Caroline’s page.
While the overturned pot may seem like a cushy home for Beatrix and her growing family, it hasn’t been without danger.
Family Offers Assistance during Hard Times
Last month Caroline found a few eggs broken in her flowerbed, the contents removed. Video footage confirmed that a racoon had visited the nest when Beatrix was away. The Trulocks set up traps to hopefully catch Rocky Racoon to no luck, but it was Beatrix who fought him off one night defending her family. He wasn’t seen after that incident. She was then down to 12 eggs.
Some rainstorms and now the coming freeze have many of the Beatrix’s social media followers concerned over her and the family’s well-being.
Caroline set up an umbrella to protect them during rainstorms and has now “winterized” Beatrix’s pot as much as the mom will allow. Since Beatrix took up home in the pot, Caroline has been providing food, water and even a little pool for her to bathe in.
Meet the Family
Beatrix’s eggs began to hatch on January 12, 2024. Today the happy mom took her babies on their first outing away from the pot. They are currently foraging down by the lake. The Trulocks are monitoring the situation and hope that they return this evening for shelter. They have taken measures to assist Beatrix and the chicks through the winter weather.
“We placed a heating plate, fresh straw, and pine shavings in a cozy little make-shift den which was protected from the elements while also giving her ducklings space to explore safely- but she wanted NO part of it,” explains Caroline. “She strutted around the front yard and paced up and down the sidewalk in protest. We tried to re-create the habitat closer to the front door and she protested that new situation as well for a solid two hours.”
After the attempts to offer aid, Caroline ended up putting the pot exactly back where it was (ensuring it’s not facing north) but did put more bedding in the pot to help Beatrix and her babies stay warm. This seemed acceptable to Beatrix and she quickly got back in the pot and settled down.
There is also a heating plate against the pot, and they placed a heating pad on top of it as well.
“I don’t know what the next few days will be like but here’s the takeaway from all of this:
Just let nature take its course,” says Caroline. “Beatrix is running the show, so we are letting her handle the situation.”
An Avid Animal Lover
Caroline Walker-Trulock is an avid animal lover and works with Almost Pet Rescue. Because of her love for Beatrix and the duck flock behind her home, she has started assisting others in duck rescues.
Recently, she and other rescuers helped a momma duck and her babies. The mom was injured and 9 out of 15 chicks were killed by a driver.
Katy is full of wildlife. They are wonderful to watch and be around. Caroline urges residence to look after them and be courteous when you encounter them.
As the weather turns frigid in the days to come, it’s important to keep domestic pets indoors and offer safe, outdoor shelter for our wildlife neighbors as they seek comfort from the cold.
“If people are going to feed the ducks it is best to go purchase proper duck feed from tractor supply or another feed store,” says Caroline. “Bread, rice and other miscellaneous items have no nutritional value for ducks and can cause vitamin deficiencies.