Make Way For … Duck Blog2!

Of course I would write it. You were wondering, weren’t you, about how things would play out with that wild duck nesting in our back yard … Well,

At first I ran the back sprinklers a lot. It got hot here and I thought any nesting duck would appreciate a cool mist.

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But then I read online that mother ducks have to wet their feathers – to maintain a certain level of humidity for the developing eggs.

So I went out and bought a kiddie pool.

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Slid it in only a few feet away from the nest and filled it up with water.

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If you look really closely you will see her gray round head (looks like a smooth, gray rock) poking out about half way between the short and long swatches of sunlight on the left side of the picture.

There you see the pool, under the spruce tree, from a distance.

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Now the mama duck could step off her nest, take a few hops for a quick dip and then hop back to her nest. It’s a tough job, sitting on those eggs, and I could help her here.

I then called the local animal shelter because I had heard they had a bird expert on staff. I talked to the receptionist.

“We have this wild duck nesting in our back yard under our spruce tree. Don’t you have an expert there who can tell me how I can help her?’

“No. He’s not in right now, but I can help you.”

“Yeah? What should I do?”

“Leave her alone.”

“Oh.”

(I really didn’t have too many heads working on this duck problem since David was out of town for several days – uh, now you know about the pool, honey.)

So, as not to look completely stupid (to the duck if no-one else) and not create a breeding ground for mosquitos, I got rid of the pool … as quietly as I could – (by rigourously splashing the water out of it with my hand and thrashing the pool around to where it was finally empty enough to drag it out of there.) I gave the pool to a friend with small children.

I checked on the duck every evening.

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She is very well camouflaged, but if you look carefully under the lower extending limb you can see her.

Along about 7 PM the sun was far enough west that she could bask in it.

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I’d see her head, poking out of the nest, illuminated with sunshine. But I couldn’t capture it in a photo.

I planted flowers.

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Rudy was invariably out in the yard with me. I’d keep an eye on him. He’d be this normal flopped-out-hanging-with-the-pack dog, then suddenly morph into a bird-dog

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Pointing right at the duck.

“NO, RUDY!!” “COME!!” “TREAT!!”

I had bought him special new ‘Stay away from the duck” treats.

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Crunchy with Real Pomegranate! YUM!

“EAT IT, RUDY. No, you’re not getting Bacon Cheese Beggin’ Strips!”

Well, Rudy flushed the duck out one morning last week. Right in front of my nose. She flew up over the house and I corralled him into the house, scolding him profusely. The duck landed right back in our yard, looked in all directions, then hop, hop, hopped (she ran, really) back to her nest. Whew!

I’ve spent a lot of time in discussions with Rudy as to why he doesn’t need to go out.

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We’ve been eating dinner on the back deck with the duck nesting in the background.

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David, Glen, Megan, me, and Rudy.

I told my neighbors across the street, Marion and Armand, about the duck and how I expected the eggs to hatch around June 26.

I checked on the duck last night. Ran the back sprinklers just for her, because the temperature topped 90 degrees yesterday.

I was out deadheading flowers this morning. Left with Megan about noon to run some errands. Pulled back into the driveway a little after 2PM. We weren’t in the house 1 minute when my cell phone rang. It was Marion from across the street.

“Jody, quick!” Your duck was just in our yard with her ducklings!”

WHAT??

“Armand is following her and taking pictures!”

I dashed out the front door. The duck and her 5 ducklings had already reached the house on the corner of our street – I snapped a photo quick as I could –

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Not the best photo you’ve ever seen of a mother duck and her ducklings, but before I took another photo I thought, “Megan can’t miss this!” and ran home and got Megan. We ran back to where I had left the ducks maybe 90 seconds before and now there was no sign of them. We ran further – looked all around. No sign of her and her ducklings. Armand had gone home. WHAT? Was that it? Was that really OUR duck?

I ran back to the nest.

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Sure enough. The babies had hatched all right. And to think when they hatched I was going to be sure and open our gate to let them through!

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Well, that mama duck and her babies were at least headed in the right direction – toward a canal just two blocks west of us. Of course, they have to cross a busy street. (Make Way ….!!!)

I feel a little sad that she’s gone. But at least I can freely let the dog out now. I don’t mind a bit his chasing the squirrels.

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2 Responses to “Make Way For … Duck Blog2!”

  1. Rene Says:

    Wow! Great picture of the mama and her babies.

  2. Tom Says:

    Love your stories. Delightful, Funny and Real………..like life should be! Keep on Keep’in On.

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