Monday, April 28, 2014

Duck Nest and Eggs

Please note this story has a sad and tragic ending. If you do not like these kind of stories, feel free to skip this post. This story took place in April this year. There was a leak in our backyard swimming pool, so the pool wasn't being cleaned or filtered while we tried to find the leak. This caused the pool to turn green like a pond. This Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) decided to take a dip in our pool, then continued to nest in our yard. It laid 9 eggs... This will only be about the ducks. Sadly, I also had a sad and tragic story about a house finch nest in my yard too that happened at the same time. That will come in a future post very soon.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To view my best backyard photography for 2013 and 2014, use this link. To see all of my 2014 backyard photography photos, use this link.

Photo shot on 4-10-2014. I noticed a week or 2 back that the duck came for a swim in my pool a few times. I found the nest near the fence of my yard after the mother duck waddled out and flew away as I got out into my yard. 7 eggs are in this photo. 

Photo shot on 4-11-2014. The mother duck stayed well hidden behind the goji berry plant. 

 Photo shot on 4-11-2014. 8 eggs are in this photo. 

Photo shot on 4-12-2014. 9 eggs are in this photo. This night, I heard some scratching noises in the backyard. They were loud. I was about to go check on the yard, but I heard neighbors talking (for a short while). I thought they were probably having a party... After they stopped talking, so did the scratching, but I didn't suspect a thing. 

 Photo shot on 4-13-2014. In the morning, I knew the duck nest was raided by wildlife (most likely a raccoon as there are many in this neighborhood). The nest was no longer there and the eggs was everywhere. Thinking back to the night before, the neighbors was definitely not having a party, but came out to check on the commotion. 

Photos shot on Photo shot on 4-13-2014. More photos of the eggs scattered everywhere. I saw the mother duck come back twice that day. I was hoping she'd come back to reclaim the nest... On 4-14-2014, I did not see her come back so I went ahead and bought equipment to make a DIY egg incubator just in case from Home Depot... I know the mother duck has not started incubating the eggs yet as she has been laying them at night, and leaving during the day, so the eggs was good for probably 3-4 more days. I decided to leave them for another 2 nights to see if she'd come back. A decision I'd regret...

Photo shot on 4-16-2014. The animals (most likely raccoons) came back for food. There were no survivors. I'm guessing they must have attacked the house finch nest too as that was roughly around when the house finch parents had died (the photos of this will be in a future post as this one is on the duck nest). 

Photos shot on 4-16-2014. One last photo of the broken eggs scattered in a mess. 

I hope I didn't make you too sad with this story... This is how nature operates and it is probably best for the wildlife if no humans intervene... These are all the photos for today. Please don't forget to share the blog post with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.