My Louie is a male mallard, about 11 months old. I've had him since about Day 3, and for all but about 2 months or so, he's lived in the house with me (last summer I would put him out in a pen during the day with a pool - after a while I just dedicated one bathtub inside for him, lol). He's a momma's boy; quacks when I get out of sight and usually follows me when I leave the room (follows me around the house in general really...sits on the couch with me or under my computer chair). I take him out to play in the yard sometimes and he usually eats some mud and sometimes flies around the house, but never far (like 30 yards, usually less). I took him out to play last Sunday morning and after a few minutes he just took off! I understand it's nearing the end of mating season, so I guess his "urges" just got too strong to resist. He was already starting to fade to eclipse plumage, which from what I can tell it seems pretty early to be doing, so (luckily) it's easy to tell him apart from the other males around. I live about a mile from one of the largest lakes in the state, so I'm guessing he is somewhere on it, because he's not on any of the local ponds. I guess my question is: will he come back once he's done mating? How long will that be? I'm worried sick about him & miss him so much...I cry pretty much every day and dream he comes home every night. P.S. By the way, I'm finally in the process of buying a house where I can build a place for him to live with more ducks, so he won't be so lonely (as I'm sure he is, even with me around). Just in case anyone was going to advise me that he should be with other ducks...I know that, and if he comes back, I'll make sure he has a bunch of feathered friends.