Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Spot of Duck Watching
~Ferns unfurling new fronds near Cedar Pond.~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!
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.
~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