The Ornamentals’ Babies!!

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July 13, 2016 by janem213

I thought it was probably too late for the Mandarin ducks etc to produce ducklings this year as it took so long to get them into their permanent home (see earlier posts)… but no!

The Carolina Wood duck female disappeared one day and was on eggs! but after some noisy work in the field she abandoned them…..

Then one of the Mandarin females laid a few eggs…

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And then some more ..

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And some more… and then started sitting…

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She’s pulled out feathers from her belly to keep them warm.

A couple of weeks later both the other Mandarin female and the Carolina Wood duck female had also laid clutches and were sitting!

… and one day … there they were! 10 tiny ducklings from the 12 eggs, 2 of them white. A week later, another 7 Mandarin ducklings appeared, 1 of them white. But the Carolina Wood duck again abandoned her eggs though this time without the excuse of noisy work on the field. Maybe it was the noise of all the ducklings!

I was surprised – all 17 have been taken on by 1 mum, I think the first one. The other languishes by the pool all day, wanders off for a snack and then back to the pool like she’s down her work and is now on a permanent vacation like the rest of the birds!

It’s brilliant seeing the ducklings. If it was straightforward I would catch them all and mark or ring one lot so I could tell which were unrelated…. but the enclosure is so overgrown and it would really stress them out…

Here’s a photo. There won’t always be 17… but they are at least protected from birds (there are lots here that would take them including the occassional buzzard) and fish such as pike that will take them in the wild.

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