Make Way for Ducklings

One of the best things in my flower garden this spring isn’t even the flowers. duck eggs by houseIt’s this: eggs! When I first discovered them (I should say, when the girls first discovered them) about a month ago, I wondered what kind they were.

duck in flower bedSoon I found out, when Mama Mallard Duck returned to her nest. See her? I know this picture is kind of a “Where’s Waldo?”, but look at the top left corner.

She is on her eggs most of the time when I go outside to check on her. I have started talking to her softly, hoping that once her babies hatch, she’ll know me as a friendly giant who will not hurt them. I wish she and her cute little crew (I’ve counted 8 eggs, I think) would stick around the flower bed, but since some cats roam our area, that may not be the best idea.

female mallard duck in flower bedI read that it takes about 28 days for mallard duck eggs to hatch, and the first photo I took of the eggs was May 12, so we should be getting close. Apparently, the ducklings stay in the nest for about ten hours while they dry and get used to using their legs. Then, usually in the early morning, Mom leads them to water.

Interesting information on mallard duck nesting behavior where I learned that “if you are wondering about Pa Mallard, he’s off looking for an unattended female during most of this. He and Ma stayed together during selection of the nest site and the laying process, but as Ma began to leave him for long periods during incubation, he gradually lost interest and flew the coop. Not politically correct, but that’s nature for you.”

Anyone ever have a duck lay eggs in your yard? Share your tales — and I’ll keep you updated on my ducklings.

6 thoughts on “Make Way for Ducklings

  1. Nope I cannot top that one! That sounds like a fun thing for you and the girls to keep an eye on. I hope the darn cats leave them alone!

  2. How cute! I love mallards. I put out cracked corn every day for two mallards who stop by on a daily basis. We had eggs in our yard a few years ago but sadly we think an animal destroyed them. I had always heard that mallards mated for life. Now my whole fairy tale ending has been ruined! The male always seems so protective and stands guard when she’s eating.

  3. How fun! We’ve had nests of smaller birds on a corner of a porch and got to see the whole life cycle from nesting to the babies leaving the nest, but we’ve never had ducks around. Like Julie, I am now very disillusioned by Papa Duck!

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