"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spot of Duck Watching

~Ferns unfurling new fronds near Cedar Pond.~
Our only ducks to have survived the coyote slaughter in December have become a pair. An odd pair ,yes. But they are a pair. They did their courting and mating on the pond and the tall,closed- umbrella shaped runner duck laid about 25 eggs she carefully concealed in her nest of feathers, twigs and leaves , in the pen we built for them. One day I let them out as usual to run and swim freely until pen- up time in the evening and...she waddled out of the pen about 20 feet, stopped..turned back and ran into the pen onto her nest. I could almost hear her duck brain thinking " Oh, I almost forgot. I am to be a mother and I have responsibility. Back to the nest! " And now she patiently sits on her nest only to get off once or twice a day to eat, drink, and relieve herself.
If you are not close to her it is hard to distinguish her from the leaves and feathers around the nest. She is well camouflaged. It takes about 28 days for duck eggs to hatch.I hope she does hatch out a few, I am curious about what the ducklings from this mating would look like. See, here is the father , the duck partner. See how small this Call Duck is ? He is smaller than the standard chicken that shares the pen with him and his mate. His voice makes up for his small size though, you can hear his loud quack from everywhere around here!
~The pond after the rain, yesterday.~
The wood duck pair is still here. My husband and I wait at the pond's edge every night , unless it is raining hard. The duck flies into the snag like clockwork, 6:30 every night. On Mother's Day we observed her fly in with the male, he landed on the pond, she flew into the crevice in the snag. According to the books, he will desert her after she lays all the eggs in her clutch and then she will sit on the eggs for up to 35 days. We are hoping to see the young jump out of their nest onto the ferns below. We'll see.
"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." Antonio Smith

13 comments:

Farm Chick Paula said...

That's sweet about them pairing up- I hope for a sucessful hatching, Kathy!
The ferns are so pretty!

Mildred said...

Your pond is such a peaceful place. Those two are quite a pair and I hope to see babies later. I love the quote you share at the bottom of the post.

Debbie said...

Forgive my envy; we don't have much opportunity for that sort of thing stuck in the middle of town. How I long for the solitude of the country and the commune with nature! I know we can look forward to photos if the opportunity presents itself. Baby ducks are very sweet.

Amy said...

Lovely pictures Kathy!

kenleighacres said...

You are lucky that the mama is sitting on the nest, I don't think Runner ducks are usually good about incubating their eggs. I can't wait to see their babies! Your pond is such a lovely place :)

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Very serene.

I hope to see little ducks soon. Nature never ceases to amaze me. It is awesome.

Leslie said...

There is nothing cuter than a duckling. I'm looking forward to the pictures. Aren't coyotes just awful predators. It seems like they are everywhere too. It is one of my biggest fears that a coyote will kill one of my animals. The pond is lovely.

Lanny said...

Wood ducks have been a top five duck for me since childhood. I'm excited to see your baby ducks, I hope you get to see them "pop" out.

Call runners eh?

noble pig said...

I can't wait to see the ducklings either. Is their a word for duckling mutts? You will get to name the new species.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I can, all to well, related to duck brain; have it too often myself!
-smile-

Jo said...

Oh, what a delightful post. Everything about it feels like spring. And I have always loved the fresh look of new ferns.

You have such a wonderful place there!

Daisy said...

Aw...there's someone for everyone. :-)

Your ducks are quite beautiful, Kathy. I loved the quote at the end of this post. Thank you.

Kathleen from Eggs In My Pocket said...

I remember your post when those old nasty coyotes attacked and it is good to see that the pair is starting a family. Loved the photos. Can't wait to see baby ducks soon! blessings,Kathleen